I've followed some of the media coverage of the event and there's obviously a lot of commentators who simply don't know much about tennis or its rules who are trying to push their agendas. I'm happy to see, though, that people are cooling down just a bit and that there are actually some thoughtful, well-argued rebuttals to some of the more ignorant commentators in comments sections (of course, there are also a lot of idiots commenting). The NYT
published a more balanced op-ed this evening (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/09/sports/tennis/serena-williams-us-open-equality.html
), one that even points out that Ramos has a history of being a stickler for the rules in men's matches.
The coverage in the Washington Post
, on the other hand, has been pretty one-sided. I'm not a fan of the paper--it's always struck me as second-rate compared with the Times
and I'll never forgive their editorial board for carrying water for George W. Bush going into the second Iraq War.
The Billy Jean King op-ed is poorly argued:
King writes, "Did Ramos treat Williams differently than male players have been treated? I think he did. Women are treated differently in most arenas of life. This is especially true for women of color."
Where is the evidence that Ramos treated Williams differently? There's a documented history of Ramos handing out code violations to male players (https://news.sky.com/story/serena-w...player-umpire-carlos-ramos-has-upset-11494215
). And, hold on a second, Osaka is a woman of color, too (what's with all the American-centric perspectives?). King simply doesn't provide any evidence to back up her claim about Ramos appllied the rules unfairly to Serena. Facts matter.
In another op-ed (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opin...ory.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.3aa18412df22
), the author argues, "Ramos did not openly state that Williams was cheating, but the implication of the umpire’s decision left little room for doubt that he believed she was trying to gain an unfair advantage...Yet, instead of warning Mouratoglou, Ramos had penalized Williams — a professional athlete with 23 Grand Slam singles titles, and therefore well versed in tennis rules and regulations — for her male coach’s faux pas."
This is obviously an example of someone commenting who doesn't fully understand the penalty rules in tennis surrounding coaching. In tennis, the coaches don't get warned for coaching violations, the players do. There's simply not an option to warn Patrick; the penalty falls on the player. Furthermore, Patrick admitted he was trying to coach! Why would he be signaling for her to come into net if Serena never is open to receiving in-match coaching? The very fact that he was coaching undercuts the argument Serena was making to the chair (i.e. I never receive coaching)!
There are other op-eds in the Washington Post that have holes in them, too.
Just so we're clear, like reasonable people everywhere, I fully acknowledge that sexism and gender-stereotyping are huge problems. Let's all work towards equality. However, let's also acknowledge when someone is simply being a sport because they're losing.
To shift the focus back where it belongs: Serena's praise during the trophy ceremony that Osaka played "well" was a bit lacking: Osaka played amazingly well.