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Sport What tennis umpires need to learn about race and gender in sports: Serena Williams gets treated like no one else

11:26  14 september  2018
11:26  14 september  2018 Source:   nydailynews.com

Djokovic launches stunning Serena defence

  Djokovic launches stunning Serena defence US Open men's singles champion Novak Djokovic has come out in support of Serena Williams following her controversial actions during the women's singles final.Williams’ argument with chair umpire Carlos Ramos, which marred the victory of Japanese star Naomi Osaka, has since polarised not only the world of tennis, but the sporting world.

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Everyone has had their take on the U.S. Open Women’s Final between Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka. We have seen righteous indignation and right-wing posturing; lyrical essays against sexism and racism, alongside sexist and racist cartoons straight from the gutter. Thrumming beneath it all is a general anger from tennis fans that Osaka’s triumphant moment was swallowed whole by officiating that unduly imposed itself on a marquee match.

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  Serena Williams' Husband Alexis Ohanian Speaks Out Against 'Blatantly Racist' Cartoon of Tennis Pro The illustration was published in Australia's 'Herald Sun' newspaper.Alexis Ohanian is weighing in after an Australian newspaper published a "blatantly racist" cartoon of his wife, Serena Williams.

Now tennis umpires are letting it be known that they are also outraged...by the treatment of tennis umpires. In their minds, they are the wronged party and Saturday’s umpire Carlos Ramos is the true victim. He simply had no choice but to penalize Serena for receiving coaching signals, smashing her racket and calling him “a thief.” It was that third infraction which cost her a critical game in the final set.

“The umpiring fraternity is thoroughly disturbed at being abandoned by the WTA [Tour],” retired elite Gold Badge umpire Richard Ings, said to ESPN. “They are all fearful that they could be the next Ramos. They feel that no one has their back when they have to make unpopular calls.”

Another umpire said anonymously — and ominously — to the Times of London that Ramos was “thrown to the wolves for simply doing his job and was not willing to be abused for it.”

Tennis umpire Carlos Ramos breaks silence over Serena stoush

  Tennis umpire Carlos Ramos breaks silence over Serena stoush The umpire at the centre of the US Open women's final controversy has spoken to a newspaper in his native Portugal.The umpire at the centre of the US Open women's final controversy has spoken in his native Portugal - and will be back in action at this weekend's Davis Cup semi-finals between the US and Croatia.

Now there is even talk among the umps that they could boycott Serena’s matches, strike or form a union because they believe Ramos was “hung out to dry” by the International Tennis Federation, after it took the ITF all of 48 hours to issue a statement of support. One anonymous source said to The Guardian, “Umpires don’t have any independent means of representation and are employed by the governing bodies. If talking to the media is not allowed, and governing bodies are speaking out against them, what are umpires supposed to do?”

To be clear, while they have every right to form a union if they so wish, we need to call this for what it is: a reactionary exercise aimed at attacking a player for daring to speak out against the culture of double standards, sexism and racism in how they choose to judge players. Or as sports journalist Jemele Hill tweeted, “Amazing how the energy changes when it’s a Black woman. These umps get worked by male players all the time but not nary a word of a boycott. Now they wanna get their Norma Rae on. Ok.”

Williams row: #MeToo or #MeMeMe?

  Williams row: #MeToo or #MeMeMe? As the "sexism" row continues after Serena Williams's US Open final defeat, how have people reacted on social media?She was fined $17,000 (£13,100) for code violations and docked a game for the angry scenes that unfolded at Flushing Meadows on Saturday.

Serena Williams holding a sign © Mike Stobe / Getty Images for USTA One thing they could do would be to listen to what Serena said in the aftermath of the match.

“I’m here fighting for women’s rights and for women’s equality and for all kinds of stuff. For me to say ‘thief’ and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark. He’s never taken a game from a man because they said ‘thief.’ For me it blows my mind. But I’m going to continue to fight for women.”

There is a glaring double standard in how men and women are judged in the world of tennis: their words, their dress, and how their anger is policed. But even beyond that: Inside women’s tennis, there is yet another double standard in how black players — particularly Serena and Venus Williams — are treated; whether it is their clothes, their hair, or their reaction to officials.

They have always been forced to exist under the kind of microscope that white female players have not had to endure. Despite her status as the greatest of all time, and the untold eyeballs and riches she has brought to the sport, Serena still has to deal with a tennis world that treats her as if it would be so nice if she weren’t there.

Comment: Serena is still treated differently than male athletes

  Comment:  Serena is still treated differently than male athletes Champion that she is, she made the right call to speak out against an injustice in the workplace. Lost in the craziness of the evening was the fact that Osaka played excellent tennis and won her first major title. Competing against her childhood idol, she summoned her “A” game and earned her championship — no need for any asterisk in the record book. She was the best player on the court on Saturday.

Serena Williams argues with chair umpire during a match against Naomi Osaka, of Japan, during the women's finals of the US Open. © Greg Allen/Invision/AP Serena Williams argues with chair umpire during a match against Naomi Osaka, of Japan, during the women's finals of the US Open. As the poet Claudia Rankine wrote, Serena and her big sister Venus brought to mind Zora Neale Hurston’s ‘I feel most colored when I am thrown against a white background.’… Serena and Venus win sometimes, they lose sometimes, they’ve been booed and cheered, and through it all and evident to all were those people who are enraged they are there at all — graphite against a sharp white background.”

Tragically, this latest episode recalls the words of W.E.B. Du Bois, when describing heavyweight champion Jack Johnson. They have been ringing in my head since last Saturday’s finals match. Du Bois wrote about how white people didn’t just hate Jack Johnson; they loved to hate him. They took joy in hating him. They were proud of their hatreds, but even then, hid their anger behind various fig leaves, speaking about Johnson’s personal life or the way he carried himself as the root of their resentment.

As Du Bois wrote, “Why then this thrill of national disgust? Because Johnson is black. Of course some pretend to object to Mr. Johnson’s character. But we have yet to hear, in the case of White America, that marital troubles have disqualified prize fighters or ball players or even statesmen. It comes down, then, after all to this unforgivable blackness.”

Osaka: I didn't know what was happening

  Osaka: I didn't know what was happening US Open champion Naomi Osaka insisted she was mystified by Serena Williams' spectacular meltdown which saw the American legend accuse the chair umpire of being a "liar and a thief".US Open champion Naomi Osaka insisted she was mystified by Serena Williams' spectacular meltdown which saw the American legend accuse the chair umpire of being a "liar and a thief".

Tennis judges don’t need to be talking union or threatening to go on strike as a response to Serena Williams. They need to be listening and understanding that the world of tennis, in 2018, is long overdue for a change.

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Williams crushes Sevastova to reach U.S. Open final .
<p>Serena Williams swept past Anastasija Sevastova 6-3 6-0 on Thursday and into the final of the U.S. Open to sit one win away from a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title.</p>Serena Williams swept past Anastasija Sevastova 6-3 6-0 on Thursday and into the final of the U.S. Open to sit one win away from a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title.

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