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Sep 13, 2018


Serena Williams may have succeeded in spinning the tantrum she displayed in US Open final into a Woman's Rights Issue. But despite her fans and supporters clamoring, one cannot deny the fact that her conduct in this incident both on the field and off the field has been a disgrace to the 'Great Champion' she actually is!


Why Serena's US Open Tantrums are So Cheap and Sets a Really Bad Example?

Usually I don't write about anything other than Football in this Blog. Most of the articles will be related to FC Barcelona or at the least related to Football. But I felt a deep urge to write about the recent controversy surrounding Serena Williams about her actions in this year's US Open Final. Many of her fans and supporters have felt that the referee, Carlos Ramos have wronged Serena Williams and took from her the chance to script another memorable come-back triumph.


Serena Williams smartly played the 'Gender' and the 'Mother' card around the issue, and that too immediately. Such a characterization of the issue meant that, those who wanted to speak against her were literally are afraid of being termed a 'Racist'. Which means a host of Greats and Big names in sports have already backed Serena Williams in the entire episode. The Women's Tennis Association and the US Tennis Association both have backed Serena without looking at the merit of the case; one has to wonder what did the referee did wrong in their eyes?



Serena Williams Played the 'Gender' card immediately; and that was a Serious Low


When something is pitched as a gender bias issue, it is very difficult to challenge the same. Anyone who questions those arguments immediately will be named and shamed as 'Anti-Feminist'. Only a Woman can question this, but not a single female player or female commentator came forward to question Serena's actions.


And to make matters worse, she is an African-American Woman. If you muster the courage to question her, that card will be played immediately and many already have felt the impact of the same. So it was encouraging to see African-American commentator Stephen A Smith calling 'A Spade a Spade'. He described Serena's behaviour as totally wrong and how she lost the argument the moment she played the 'Gender' card. Everyone should watch him.




Like Stephen said it was Cheap for her to play the 'Gender' card and also she didn't stop at it also; she immediately brought the 'Mother' card. I still is trying to understand why she did that. What will her months old child understand about any of these. If she is worried like later when her kids see this, her stature will be lowered in front of her own kids; then she should be more worried about what she did before she entered motherhood. She was not a saint in terms of on-field behaviour earlier in her career.


Let's be clear, Serena played the 'Mother' card as a calculated offense against Ramos. A normal individual would have immediately caught off-guard and would have walked back. But then Ramos being Ramos, stuck it back. Many Women players have completely bowled over by the 'Women' card she played. It was pathetic to see a legend like Billie Jean King getting hysterical about it.


Serena Was Completely Wrong and Carlos Ramos was absolutely Correct


What Serena did was totally wrong and Ramos actions were simply justified. The way she played the 'Gender' card saw people like King side with her without any justification. Let's analyse what happened - first she was given a Warning for Coaching. She immediately, started the verbal volley. She immediately sets off at the referee saying "I have never cheated in my life, I’d rather lose than cheat.You owe me an apology". Her own coach have confirmed later that he was Coaching but added a caviar that she may not have seen it. Obviously when you are caught on Camera, you need to come up with a smart alibi.


Then she played a poor game and allowed her opponent to comeback. Such was the frustration that she threw her racket on the ground and received a point violation. Totally justified. Instead of accepting the same and continuing she suffered an epic meltdown. She simply went after the referee calling him a thief and liar. So when it continued he gave her teh third penalty, which was as per the rule and game penalty.


Carlos Ramos played his part as per the book, he gave her the warning which was justified; she simply went nuts after that. It looks like the 'Greatest of All Time' debate have gone to her head and she simply behaved as if she owns the court. It is comical to read what she said to Ramos - "You are a liar. You will never be on a court of mine as long as you live. When are you going to give me my apology? Say you are sorry". She had the audacity to rule that he will never judge a single match of hers. Unbelievable!


Legends like King, instead of seeing the entire episode through an unbiased lens, immediately spun it into a Women Rights issue. But like Stephen points out in the video above, Ramos have been clearly this harsh with Men also. He pointed out how Nadal and Djokovic both were at receiving end of similar events. But they were smart enough not to let it affect their game. Something Serena couldn't do through the entire episode.


Men are allowed to Cheat, so Should We also argument is so Cheap!


The Women players and legends who jumped in to Serena's defense all took the familar defense - 'men are allowed, so should we'. That argument in itself is pretty poor. That's not how you fight a Rights issue. They should have simply asked that all the referees follow the same standard. Instead the moment they played 'Men Cheat' argument, the entire crux of their argument fell down. Then when people like Stephen clearly demonstrates how Ramos have ruled similarly in Mens game also, that too against big Champions; their entire argument simply meltdown like Serena's composure in the game.


Amidst of all the fury the best tweet came from Stuart Fraser, the Tennis Correspondent.



That should the action plan for Tennis association to take forward. If someone show the courage to make a call which is as per the book, you should encourage others also to do the same. But instead the WTA and USTA both set up the wrong example. By backing Serena Willams in her unfair actions, they simply put rubber stamp to tens and hundreds of similar event that's going to happen later. Now everyone knows how to get back at the referee, play the appropriate cards - sometimes it would be Gender, then we have , Race, Caste, Color, nationality. Just wait for it all to unfurl.


The biggest repercussion at least for now would be coming from the referees. The latest news is suggesting that they will be forming a Union because of the treatment melted out by Associations against Ramos. And there are reports of them considering not officiating Serena's matches in future. Now WTA will have another head-ache in their hand to deal with.


In the end when the dust settles, Serena Williams will definitely regret her actions and how that lowered her own reputation. And if a confrontation occurs between the referees and WTA, she will be remembered solely for that. By bringing cheap arguments, she downgraded those huge rights issue fight people are waging across the globe. Her fight has nothing to do with 'Being a Women' or 'Being a Mother'; it was more to do with her own sense of 'Being Privileged'.


Obviously we should encourage referees in being as tough as Ramos is. Especially in Men's game. There are too many characters who simply take things to the limit. If Ramos like characters officiates every match, we will have better control in Men's game. That will at least clear the perceived unfairness. In Men's tour currently there are characters who could get at least 3-4 game violation per match and there are those who could get that in every game!


And for those who bemoans that Ramos stole from them a great spectacle; it's a nonsensical argument. To produce a great match is the responsibility of the Players not the referees. His job is to ensure that there is a level playing field as defined by the books. We have heard this argument before also. In Arsenal vs Barca Champions League football final, we heard many complaining how Lehman's departure destroyed the final. But then Lehman should have know about the repercussions of his actions that day. It's not the referees job to cover your stupid mistakes!


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