Should criminal assault charges be brought against Serena Williams?

rob61

Rookie
While a lot of people here are discussing the behavior of Serena Williams on court when a foot fault was called, many don't seem to understand the seriousness of this matter or how it affects the sport. Its one thing to scream at an official a la McEnroe, but it is an entirely different matter to physically threaten another person. This by legal definition is assault and is a criminal act. Saying you'd "stuff this F#@$# ball down your f#@$#@ throat" is a threat of physical violence against another person, which in this case, happened to be a lines person who was just doing her job. This criminal conduct should not be tolerated anymore than was Vic's criminal behavior towards dogs for which he went to prison.

While I doubt the lines person will press charges, although she could, what will this do to Serena's career? Will sponsors continue to pay endorsement fees to someone who threatens physical violence against a lines person even if she doesn't press assault charges? Will people still want to buy products with a Williams endorsement? Will she be allowed to continue to play tennis after assaulting a lines person? Surely there must be rules for professional tennis players who engage in criminal conduct other than doping or suspected game fixing and gambling.

The tennis association needs to consider the seriousness of this assault against the lines person and act accordingly. It has brought a new low to the sport of tennis.
 

MichaelChang

Hall of Fame


It could happen. But most likely the lineswoman will not press the charge. Instead, ITF/WTA should issue some penalty on S.Williams.
 

Cfidave

Professional
Can you imagine what the court system would be like, if everytime someone made a verbal threat, assault charges were filed? No judge would even hear a case like this.
 

rob61

Rookie
Can you imagine what the court system would be like, if everytime someone made a verbal threat, assault charges were filed? No judge would even hear a case like this.
Quite the contrary... action could be sought through either criminal or civil courts (depending on who is bringing the charges). In a civil suit, the broadcast alone of Serena's statements would indeed give the lines person a preponderance of evidence. I doubt this unfortunate incident will result in either a criminal or civil suit, but it certainly could.

At the least, the tennis association needs to take immediate and severe action against a player who assaults a lines person doing his/her job. This is a serious blow to the game of tennis and should not be tolerated. It needs to be dealt with quickly and severely. If civil and/or criminal charges are not brought, it will be up to the tennis association / US Open to prevent any such actions like this in the future. Such criminal actions against tournament officials ruins the sport for everbody involved including the spectators.
 
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Andy G

Semi-Pro
While a lot of people here are discussing the behavior of Serena Williams on court when a foot fault was called, many don't seem to understand the seriousness of this matter or how it affects the sport. Its one thing to scream at an official a la McEnroe, but it is an entirely different matter to physically threaten another person. This by legal definition is assault and is a criminal act. Saying you'd "stuff this F#@$# ball down your f#@$#@ throat" is a threat of physical violence against another person, which in this case, happened to be a lines person who was just doing her job. This criminal conduct should not be tolerated anymore than was Vic's criminal behavior towards dogs for which he went to prison.

While I doubt the lines person will press charges, although she could, what will this do to Serena's career? Will sponsors continue to pay endorsement fees to someone who threatens physical violence against a lines person even if she doesn't press assault charges? Will people still want to buy products with a Williams endorsement? Will she be allowed to continue to play tennis after assaulting a lines person? Surely there must be rules for professional tennis players who engage in criminal conduct other than doping or suspected game fixing and gambling.

The tennis association needs to consider the seriousness of this assault against the lines person and act accordingly. It has brought a new low to the sport of tennis.


I think ******** comments like this should be illegal and you should be arrested for aggravated stupidity. There is such a thing as intent. Does anyone really think Serena would physically hold down the lineswoman, force her mouth open, and actually take a tennis ball and try to fit it down her throat? Of course not, its not gonna happen. No one has the right to feel safe. If so, I should sue the city of Philadelphia. With all the crime here, I don't feel safe. Its called human interaction. Sometimes people argue or threaten and others may feel scared or offended, thats life, unless there is an actual case of intent for harm. If I was arrested every time I told someone in rush hour traffic that I'd kick their ass, I would be a 3 strike offender about 1000x over and be in jail for life. Stop with the ******** threads.
 

dh003i

Legend
It is very unusual for a player to walk over to a lines person, 5 feet away from them, point a racket at them, and threaten them. It wouldn't be unreasonable if the lines person felt threatened. Quite a bit different from rush-hour traffic horn-honking.
 

jonaron

Rookie
I think ******** comments like this should be illegal and you should be arrested for aggravated stupidity. There is such a thing as intent. Does anyone really think Serena would physically hold down the lineswoman, force her mouth open, and actually take a tennis ball and try to fit it down her throat? Of course not, its not gonna happen. No one has the right to feel safe. If so, I should sue the city of Philadelphia. With all the crime here, I don't feel safe. Its called human interaction. Sometimes people argue or threaten and others may feel scared or offended, thats life, unless there is an actual case of intent for harm. If I was arrested every time I told someone in rush hour traffic that I'd kick their ass, I would be a 3 strike offender about 1000x over and be in jail for life. Stop with the ******** threads.
Wow, that is a special post.
 

malakas

Banned
I think ******** comments like this should be illegal and you should be arrested for aggravated stupidity. There is such a thing as intent. Does anyone really think Serena would physically hold down the lineswoman, force her mouth open, and actually take a tennis ball and try to fit it down her throat? Of course not, its not gonna happen. No one has the right to feel safe. If so, I should sue the city of Philadelphia. With all the crime here, I don't feel safe. Its called human interaction. Sometimes people argue or threaten and others may feel scared or offended, thats life, unless there is an actual case of intent for harm. If I was arrested every time I told someone in rush hour traffic that I'd kick their ass, I would be a 3 strike offender about 1000x over and be in jail for life. Stop with the ******** threads.
I think you should leave this forum for the shake of the mentall health of the rest of us.Thank you.
 

sheq

Professional
I think ******** comments like this should be illegal and you should be arrested for aggravated stupidity. There is such a thing as intent. Does anyone really think Serena would physically hold down the lineswoman, force her mouth open, and actually take a tennis ball and try to fit it down her throat? Of course not, its not gonna happen. No one has the right to feel safe. If so, I should sue the city of Philadelphia. With all the crime here, I don't feel safe. Its called human interaction. Sometimes people argue or threaten and others may feel scared or offended, thats life, unless there is an actual case of intent for harm. If I was arrested every time I told someone in rush hour traffic that I'd kick their ass, I would be a 3 strike offender about 1000x over and be in jail for life. Stop with the ******** threads.
I think its such an ignorant comment
 

Lionheart392

Professional
I think ******** comments like this should be illegal and you should be arrested for aggravated stupidity. There is such a thing as intent. Does anyone really think Serena would physically hold down the lineswoman, force her mouth open, and actually take a tennis ball and try to fit it down her throat? Of course not, its not gonna happen. No one has the right to feel safe. If so, I should sue the city of Philadelphia. With all the crime here, I don't feel safe. Its called human interaction. Sometimes people argue or threaten and others may feel scared or offended, thats life, unless there is an actual case of intent for harm. If I was arrested every time I told someone in rush hour traffic that I'd kick their ass, I would be a 3 strike offender about 1000x over and be in jail for life. Stop with the ******** threads.
I don't know about American law, but in British law if you make someone fear that they are in immediate danger of being physically harmed, THAT in itself is assault, even if you don't touch them. That lineswoman has every right to expect to be able to go onto the court and do her job without being abused by players.
 

Jay_The_Nomad

Professional
This would be a frivolous claim.

There has to be a threat of imminent violence.

"I'm going to walk over there and kick you butt right now"

vs

"If you keep doing that, i'm going to kick your butt".
 

jwbarrientos

Hall of Fame
Come on, no charges, plz. 8)

anyhow I'd like to see a decent street fight against the line woman and Serena (no racquets allowed).:oops:
 

ninman

Hall of Fame
I don't know about American law, but in British law if you make someone fear that they are in immediate danger of being physically harmed, THAT in itself is assault, even if you don't touch them. That lineswoman has every right to expect to be able to go onto the court and do her job without being abused by players.
Yep, completely agree. Whether Serena agrees or disagrees with a call, it's the lines person who makes that call, and there's just no excuse for it. Personally I think that Serena should be banned, if you feel that you are getting called for a lot of foot faults there's an easier solution than complaining, why not stand a little bit further from the line? Like is 3 or 4 inches going to make a difference?
 

TennisBatman

Semi-Pro
This would be a frivolous claim.

There has to be a threat of imminent violence.

"I'm going to walk over there and kick you butt right now"

vs

"If you keep doing that, i'm going to kick your butt".
You missed the obvious comparison to what was actually said.

The level of threat contained in her actual words was about 100 times greater then either of those "threats" you offered.
 

miyagi

Professional
I don't know about American law, but in British law if you make someone fear that they are in immediate danger of being physically harmed, THAT in itself is assault, even if you don't touch them. That lineswoman has every right to expect to be able to go onto the court and do her job without being abused by players.
What are you talking about? I live in Britain and that is NOT the case!!

If people think criminal charges should be brought against her then thats fine but at least make sure you speak the truth.
 

MichaelChang

Hall of Fame
I think ******** comments like this should be illegal and you should be arrested for aggravated stupidity. There is such a thing as intent. Does anyone really think Serena would physically hold down the lineswoman, force her mouth open, and actually take a tennis ball and try to fit it down her throat? Of course not, its not gonna happen. No one has the right to feel safe. If so, I should sue the city of Philadelphia. With all the crime here, I don't feel safe. Its called human interaction. Sometimes people argue or threaten and others may feel scared or offended, thats life, unless there is an actual case of intent for harm. If I was arrested every time I told someone in rush hour traffic that I'd kick their ass, I would be a 3 strike offender about 1000x over and be in jail for life. Stop with the ******** threads.
From this picture, you telling me there is no physical threat? Yeah? You sure?
 
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ninman

Hall of Fame
What are you talking about? I live in Britain and that is NOT the case!!

If people think criminal charges should be brought against her then thats fine but at least make sure you speak the truth.
Dude I don't know where you live, but you are certainly not allowed to threaten people. If that lines person felt threatened by Serena then under British law she would have every right to make a complaint to the police about it.
 

miyagi

Professional
Dude I don't know where you live, but you are certainly not allowed to threaten people. If that lines person felt threatened by Serena then under British law she would have every right to make a complaint to the police about it.
Please re-read the title and re-read what I responded about:

If you threaten someone, you could be charged with "threatening behaviour" and the police would have to believe you were going to carry out what you said.

It is not true that if you threaten someone it is assualt, thats B.S.

BTW: No way would the police do anything, except for speak to Serena!
 

tennisesq

New User
This would be a frivolous claim.

There has to be a threat of imminent violence.

"I'm going to walk over there and kick you butt right now"

vs

"If you keep doing that, i'm going to kick your butt".
Sounds like someone is going/has went to law school. You're correct.

We don't know exactly what Serena said to the lineswoman. If she said the first phrase, then the lineswoman might have an action against Serena. However, Serena's actions plus her words must put the lineswoman in reasonable fear of imminent harm. So, until we know what was exactly said, we just don't know.
 
...

Serena should be charged for THEFT

Kim's glory was robbed!

I thought that it was rather disgusting that in the press conference, Serena went on and on about how it was strategy that beat her, and not that she was completely outplayed. And that next time she'd know what to do. Also this,

Q. Do you think the lineswoman deserves an apology?

A. An apology for?

Q. From you.

A. From me?

Personally, I think Serena exploded on purpose. Wasn't it recently where she said she was a good actress?

Now there's going to be the lingering question of "would Kim have won anyway?" Anyway watching will tell you yes, but thanks to the thief we'll never know for sure.
 

migjam

Professional
If you watch the video again, the second time that Serena goes over to the lineswoman, you can see that the lineswoman appears, from the expression on her face, to be afraid and then quickly heads over to the chair umpire.
 
Criminal charges to Serena? You can not be serious!

I have seen plenty of tennis matches. Some McEnroe outbursts were 10x worse than Serena’s or any player I can think of who currently plays. If he pulled some of the stuff he did back then today he would be fined and disqualified multiple times. Natase was just as bad and Connors not far behind.

In McEnroe matches, every other match I saw him screaming FU to a linesman, umpire, or someone in the crowd. How about this one, Mac, during a DC match in the US vs Becker, he got a bad call from a black linesman. He said, loudly, "I didn't realize there were black germans." During the French Open, he was fond of calling the officials french f*ggots"

In the 90’s (San Jose Tournament) Agassi called a linesman a "gut-less mother******" and "I hope the ball hits your ass you ****ing *****"---the linesman reported this to the umpire, went back to his position, Agassi said it again, etc etc. After the 3rd time, the ump asked him if he really said that. Agassi said, "I'd be a liar if I said I didn't." So the ump threw him out.

Connors was also swearing and giving the finger to umpires years ago.

In the 2007 AO A. Roddick (1st round) had bellowed insults at wildcard Tsonga. Roddick was caught on television calling Tsonga a "F-ing pr-ck" after an exchange at the net.

Here we have Xavier Malisse to a linesman:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oe6uLXaAnhQ
 

GS

Professional
I liked all the crap Queen Serena said at the press conference afterwards, things like, "I don't remember what I said", and, "I've never been in a fight all my life. So why should she feel threatened?" Huh? Then she admits she probably WAS foot-faulting! Huh? And she side-stepped all questions about apologizing. A classy gal....
I hope those lovable New York fans boo her like crazy before tomorrow's doubles final.
Sadly, since she sells tickets, she won't be suspended, since the WTA needs the money. At least she's still #2---if she got to the final, she'd be #1.
 

Crusher10s

Rookie
I don't know about American law, but in British law if you make someone fear that they are in immediate danger of being physically harmed, THAT in itself is assault, even if you don't touch them. That lineswoman has every right to expect to be able to go onto the court and do her job without being abused by players.


Bingo!!!!

And as a former cop, in the US, the law is the EXACT same here...assault can be the threat of violence and batter is the actual touching, hence assault and batter.
 

Crusher10s

Rookie
Please re-read the title and re-read what I responded about:

If you threaten someone, you could be charged with "threatening behaviour" and the police would have to believe you were going to carry out what you said.

It is not true that if you threaten someone it is assualt, thats B.S.

BTW: No way would the police do anything, except for speak to Serena!


Oh yes it IS true nitwit.....ever wonder why people are charged with assault AND battery??????

The assault is the threating to do physical harm and the actual touching is the battery.


Before shooting your mouth off, at least do a google search.
 
Yeah, gotta say threatening to kick someone's butt or saying you're going to rough them up isn't on par with stuffing a tennis ball down someone's throat (which no matter how big a mouth you think you have would likely result in death). Unfortunately semantics does count when the law is concerned. 'I'd like to rob this bank' and 'I'm robbing this bank' will get you different results and most likely sentences as well.

:)
 

EtePras

Banned
lmao, only in America would people defend such outrageous behavior. Serena Williams should be sent to jail for her threats, and if legal people have any sense she will be. But it's America, and they'll probably introduce affirmative action for prisons, and Serena gets out unscathed so she can continue to make a mockery of a fine sport.
 

bluetrain4

G.O.A.T.
While a lot of people here are discussing the behavior of Serena Williams on court when a foot fault was called, many don't seem to understand the seriousness of this matter or how it affects the sport. Its one thing to scream at an official a la McEnroe, but it is an entirely different matter to physically threaten another person. This by legal definition is assault and is a criminal act. Saying you'd "stuff this F#@$# ball down your f#@$#@ throat" is a threat of physical violence against another person, which in this case, happened to be a lines person who was just doing her job. This criminal conduct should not be tolerated anymore than was Vic's criminal behavior towards dogs for which he went to prison.

While I doubt the lines person will press charges, although she could, what will this do to Serena's career? Will sponsors continue to pay endorsement fees to someone who threatens physical violence against a lines person even if she doesn't press assault charges? Will people still want to buy products with a Williams endorsement? Will she be allowed to continue to play tennis after assaulting a lines person? Surely there must be rules for professional tennis players who engage in criminal conduct other than doping or suspected game fixing and gambling.

The tennis association needs to consider the seriousness of this assault against the lines person and act accordingly. It has brought a new low to the sport of tennis.
In criminal cases, private parties don't "bring charges." It's totally at the hands of the State and its subunits, which here would be the District Attorney for the area where the offense took place (Queens County).

The linesperson could file a civil complaint, but that's an entirely different thing.

I can guarantee that the Queens County DA isn't going to bring charges against Serena Williams
 

Casticus

New User
Criminal charges to Serena? You can not be serious!

I have seen plenty of tennis matches. Some McEnroe outbursts were 10x worse than Serena’s or any player I can think of who currently plays. If he pulled some of the stuff he did back then today he would be fined and disqualified multiple times. Natase was just as bad and Connors not far behind.

In McEnroe matches, every other match I saw him screaming FU to a linesman, umpire, or someone in the crowd. How about this one, Mac, during a DC match in the US vs Becker, he got a bad call from a black linesman. He said, loudly, "I didn't realize there were black germans." During the French Open, he was fond of calling the officials french f*ggots"

In the 90’s (San Jose Tournament) Agassi called a linesman a "gut-less mother******" and "I hope the ball hits your ass you ****ing *****"---the linesman reported this to the umpire, went back to his position, Agassi said it again, etc etc. After the 3rd time, the ump asked him if he really said that. Agassi said, "I'd be a liar if I said I didn't." So the ump threw him out.

Connors was also swearing and giving the finger to umpires years ago.

In the 2007 AO A. Roddick (1st round) had bellowed insults at wildcard Tsonga. Roddick was caught on television calling Tsonga a "F-ing pr-ck" after an exchange at the net.

Here we have Xavier Malisse to a linesman:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oe6uLXaAnhQ

So please show me any of the 100x worse situations. I have yet to see any player to threaten to physically harm an official. Xavier wasn't threatening the linesperson, he was just yelling do you know what you just did? As in cause him to get defaulted. He didn't say he is going to shove his fist down her throat. All of the cases you mentioned are awful sportsmanship, but none of them threatened the officials.

Also in all of the cases that you mention, which were a lot lighter than what happened yesterday, the player was defaulted. While Serena wasn't even defaulted because the stupid ump wasn't paying attention to what Serena was saying. And you can't default someone unless you are 100% sure of what happened.
 

chess9

Hall of Fame
Serena is a 170 lb very muscular female who is aggravated. Would you be worried if she were shaking a tennis racquet and a ball at you? I think any reasonable person would be worried. I know my response would have been very swift if she'd done it to me. It's very very threatening.

-Robert
 
Serena is a 170 lb very muscular female who is aggravated. Would you be worried if she were shaking a tennis racquet and a ball at you? I think any reasonable person would be worried. I know my response would have been very swift if she'd done it to me. It's very very threatening.

-Robert
you, AS A MAN, would press charges against a female tennis player??? people talk about questioning Serena's gender. LOL.

she should be fined. suspended. whatever.

she belittled the linesperson.

i'm sorry but it wasn't like blows were imminent.

i'm not a serena fan and i know half this board hates black people, but it's not assault in either country.
 
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Crusher10s

Rookie
^^^^Wrong!!!!

First of all she threatened not belittled the line judge. Let me help you understand the difference....If I say you're ugly that's belittling you...if I say your mama is ugly that's belittling her....now if I threaten (and threatening to do physical harm to someone IS assault) to shove a tennis ball, steak knife, baseball, foot, etc. up or down your throat or ass, well then that's an assault....

If I happen to back up my threat and touch you then it becomes a battery.


Get it?
 

Jay_The_Nomad

Professional
now if I threaten (and threatening to do physical harm to someone IS assault) to shove a tennis ball, steak knife, baseball, foot, etc. up or down your throat or ass, well then that's an assault....
It's assault only if there is a reasonable apprehension of physical contact, and that contact is imminent.

The fact that Serena stood 2 meters away from the lines woman, waved her racquet around like a mad woman and then walked off, provides a good indicator that there was no reasonable apprehension of contact.

Immediately at the time of the threat, Serena stood her ground and did not approach any further - so no reasonable apprehension of contact.

Immediately after the threat, she walked off - so no reaosnable apprehension of contact there either.


Sounds like someone is going/has went to law school.
Are you a lawyer?
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
In criminal cases, private parties don't "bring charges." It's totally at the hands of the State and its subunits, which here would be the District Attorney for the area where the offense took place (Queens County).

The linesperson could file a civil complaint, but that's an entirely different thing.

I can guarantee that the Queens County DA isn't going to bring charges against Serena Williams
+1. I can *almost* guarantee it. Except for you have to allow for the possibility that some headline-grabbing DA might do it as a publicity stunt.

Bottom line: The linesperson was never in any danger. She was in a stadium full of witnesses with security guards all around. Her face was impassive throughout, as it should have been. (And she has been a professional afterward, declining to go on a publicity tour or otherwise cash in).

These episodes happen all the time in sports, where someone gets in the face of an ump or a referee. If it doesn't get physical, the worst that happens is a fine or suspension or both. That is the most that should happen in Serena's case.

Bottom line: If a more popular player (or more popular at TT) did this -- say Nadal, Federer, Sharapova -- no one would be proposing criminal prosecution. We would be saying the obvious: "Boy, she really lost it."
 

JankovicFan

Semi-Pro
I think when Serena came back is when the lineswoman could really be concerned. It would be Serena's agressive approach, not sure of her intentions or how close she would come, that would be the worst moment. As we saw, the lineswoman didn't wait but lit out to speak to the chair and very possibly seek shelter. It is enough of a question that Serena may go to court over it. We don't know the verdict, but I think we know there is a case.
 

Love Game

Talk Tennis Guru
This criminal conduct should not be tolerated anymore than was Vic's criminal behavior towards dogs for which he went to prison.
what serena did was despicable, but putting it into the same category as the years of forced breeding, torture and killing of thousands of helpless animals? just not comparable imo.
 
While a lot of people here are discussing the behavior of Serena Williams on court when a foot fault was called, many don't seem to understand the seriousness of this matter or how it affects the sport. Its one thing to scream at an official a la McEnroe, but it is an entirely different matter to physically threaten another person. This by legal definition is assault and is a criminal act. Saying you'd "stuff this F#@$# ball down your f#@$#@ throat" is a threat of physical violence against another person, which in this case, happened to be a lines person who was just doing her job. This criminal conduct should not be tolerated anymore than was Vic's criminal behavior towards dogs for which he went to prison.

While I doubt the lines person will press charges, although she could, what will this do to Serena's career? Will sponsors continue to pay endorsement fees to someone who threatens physical violence against a lines person even if she doesn't press assault charges? Will people still want to buy products with a Williams endorsement? Will she be allowed to continue to play tennis after assaulting a lines person? Surely there must be rules for professional tennis players who engage in criminal conduct other than doping or suspected game fixing and gambling.

The tennis association needs to consider the seriousness of this assault against the lines person and act accordingly. It has brought a new low to the sport of tennis.
She should be charged with attempted murder, a confession should be pressed out of her with intense non-stop waterboarding, and then she shold be setenced to death. If there is no death penalty under NY law it needs to be immediately reinstated. We cannot allow such events to repreat themselves. :roll:
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
She should be charged with attempted murder, a confession should be pressed out of her with intense non-stop waterboarding, and then she shold be setenced to death. If there is no death penalty under NY law it needs to be immediately reinstated. We cannot allow such events to repreat themselves. :roll:
And she should be forced to listen to recordings of Vanilla Ice and Kenny G while she is in The Hole. :)
 

rommil

Legend
She should be charged with public indecency. Every time they show a clip of what happened, we yet again get a glimpse of her gigantic purple bloomers. Now we know Barnie is looking for his underwear somewhere.
 
No one takes into consideration she is a public figure? She should receive harsher punishment for less. When people see a public figure like her doing what she wants and not receiving discipline for it what tells them not to behave the same way. Suspensions isn't enough, more would happen to an ordinary citizen threatening any type of official in public, but it is a start.

My $0.02
 

OTMPut

Hall of Fame
^^^^Wrong!!!!

First of all she threatened not belittled the line judge. Let me help you understand the difference....If I say you're ugly that's belittling you...if I say your mama is ugly that's belittling her....now if I threaten (and threatening to do physical harm to someone IS assault) to shove a tennis ball, steak knife, baseball, foot, etc. up or down your throat or ass, well then that's an assault....
If I happen to back up my threat and touch you then it becomes a battery.

Get it?
I have seen a lot of people - from sl*t skirt wearing high school girls to thirty something males with plenty of facial hair - show the middle finger and say "up your a**" on many occasions. Are these assaults?
 
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