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Naomi Osaka Should be Earning Headlines, Not Serena Williams

Naomi Osaka Should be Earning Headlines, Not Serena Williams

Osaka has been robbed of the joy of her accomplishment

Naomi Osaka made history by becoming the first Japanese born woman to win the US Open. But the headlines following the event are hardly focusing on Osaka. Instead, the discussion has largely focused on Serena Williams who suffered a “sexist” umpire.

It’s pathetic, really. 

If you missed it, you can watch the whole ordeal here:

Williams was first dinged for coaching when her coach repeatedly made hand motions that looked an awful lot like he was instructing her to get to the net. “If he gives me a thumbs up, he’s telling me to come on,” Williams told umpire Carlos Ramos.

Too bad for Williams, Mouratoglou (her coach) admitted he was coaching. “Everybody does it — you all know it,” Mouratoglou said after the match.

Ticked that she was being outplayed, Williams broke her racket in the second match, drawing a point loss. That’s when Williams went off the rails. She yelled at Ramos, told him he owed her an apology and called him a thief. So, Ramos called another code violation.

The referee was summoned and Williams claimed she was being penalized because she was a woman. Williams was later fined $17,000 for her series of outbursts.

Williams’ mastery of the game is irrefutable. She has the record, talent, skill, and stats to prove she’s the most talented woman to ever play the game. She’s also known for her temper and for her penchant for lashing out at umpires.

See 2009 when Williams threatened a line judge for calling a foot fault:

According to Sports Illustrated, “Williams unleashed a string of asterisks and ampersands and threats, the worst of them involving asphyxiation of Tsurubuchi via tennis ball. Having already been assessed a warning for an earlier breach of etiquette, Williams was penalized a point for her eruption, ending the match.”

And there was 2011:

“You’re a hater and you’re unattractive inside,” she told the umpire.

Nevertheless, Williams’ “loss” has completely overshadowed Osaka’s win and with the help of progressive outlets who don’t seem to mind depriving Osaka the airtime she’s earned.

Williams herself played the sexist card when appealing to the referee.

I’m so old, I remember when it was commonplace for children, kids, teenagers, and really, everyone, to be repeatedly reminded that the actions of others are never justification to behave badly or treat others poorly. There’s no room for individual responsibility in victim culture though.

This cartoon and the discussion surrounding it are a perfect microcosm of the whole affair.

Of course, the cartoonist was repeatedly accused of sexism, to which he responded:

And then of racism, because obvs.

The ends of Osaka’s hair are well, blonde.

Then there’s Richard Ings, a former umpire who took time to write an op-ed explaining why Ramos was absolutely right in how he handled a nasty situation. The excerpt is lengthy, but an important and much-needed perspective on the matter, which has been convoluted by an overlay of social justice.

First, on the technical aspects of the game:

I should know. My welcome to the job match happened at the 1987 US Open. I was the chair umpire for the fourth-round stadium court match between John McEnroe and Slobodan Zivojinovic where I issued a warning, point penalty and a game penalty against McEnroe.

The game penalty, for a string of obscenities directed at me, came at 4-5, costing McEnroe the set and making the match one set all.

The memories and scars of my welcome to the job match are fresh even more than 30 years later. Ramos will be going through much the same emotions.

As someone that has sat in the umpire’s chair in front of a raucous full house US Open crowd and been tested under fire in front of a global television audience, I have a great deal of empathy and admiration for Ramos and his officiating.

In the course of this match, Ramos issued a warning, a point penalty and a game penalty against Williams for violations of the grand slam code of conduct.

The warning was triggered when Williams’ coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, made clear and repeated coaching gestures to his player on the court.

For a professional umpire, keeping an eye on the coach is standard practice. All coaches know that such hand gestures are a breach of the code of conduct.

The point penalty was triggered when Williams destroyed her racquet on the court after having her serve broken. Apart from the bad look for the sport of a player violently breaking a racquet on court, it is also dangerous to on-court officials, ball persons and front-row spectators as shards go flying.

All players know that destroying a racquet on the court is a mandatory code violation.

The game penalty was triggered after Williams, in a lengthy tirade, loudly accused the umpire of being a “thief” stealing points from her. Ramos let the tirade slide, showing great composure until Williams accused him of cheating.

All players know that publicly attacking the honesty of the umpire is going to result in an immediate code violation.

Ramos made absolutely the correct calls as a chair umpire in each of these three incidents.

And secondly, on why Ramos was neither racist nor sexist in doing his job:

Williams is the greatest female tennis player to ever play the game. Her playing record on the court is legendary. I can never truly appreciate the real sexism and racism that Williams will have absolutely faced in her life and career. Her iconic status speaking out on racism and sexism off the court is inspiring. She is a positive role model in every sense.

However, Williams faced neither sexism or racism in this grand slam final. We should not let her record, as glowing as it is, overshadow the fact that on this day, in this match Williams was wrong.

The decisions made by Ramos had nothing to do with sexism or racism. They had everything to do with observing clear breaches of the grand slam code of conduct and then having the courage to call them without fear or favour.

This match was not Serena Williams’ finest hour. She lost to a better player and in the process lost her cool in spectacular fashion. It is Williams who owes an apology to Ramos, not the other way around.

Because it needs repeating — it is possible to disagree with someone or their behavior and it have nothing whatsoever to do with their skin color, race, ethnicity, gender, or overal character.

Facts don’t matter. Behavior doesn’t either. Personal responsibility matters not. That a young woman made history in an incredibly upset by outplaying one of the game’s best players? Meh.

What matters is that Williams, a champion of women’s rights and other nice progressive things was penalized by a man for her awful behavior, or so the narrative has explained.

And left in the dust is an incredible rising talent who will forever question her most excellent win.


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Serena’s a bully. This has to do with her temperament and attitude, not her sex or race.

    Tom Servo in reply to hrhdhd. | September 10, 2018 at 11:19 pm

    It’s actually really amusing to watch the media’s sports darlings get humiliated in public, especially when they do it to themselves. This was almost as good as seeing clips of Rhonda Rousey getting KO’d.

Her coach has already admitted to coaching her…you should add that as well.

    healthguyfsu in reply to healthguyfsu. | September 10, 2018 at 7:24 pm

    Note the quote at the end from her enabler/coach.

    “This should be an unbelievable moment for her,’’ he said. “I’m not saying Serena would’ve won, but I regret the chair umpire creating such a drama that could easily have been avoided if he used minimum psychology.’’

    Who did a what now? According to him, the umpire created drama not Serena who cannot take responsibility for her own actions.

      C. Lashown in reply to healthguyfsu. | September 10, 2018 at 8:06 pm

      Like many world class athletes, Williams is of the mistaken opinion that the world ‘revolves’ around her, especially when it comes to the game of tennis. My personal opinion is that she is mentally unbalanced and in need of counseling…which she would naturally refuse to accept, except under duress.

Feelings over facts. It’s the new normal.

Congratulations to Naomi Osaka. It’s too bad she won by beating a narcissistic pinhead who makes everything about herself and stole Naomi’s thunder by making such a scene. Hopefully Ms. Osaka will advance to win other accolades without any accompanying Sturm und Drang. Tennis is supposed to be a civilized sport.

Williams herself is no great issue to me, but the outpouring of defenses of her justifying her behavior and her sense of victimization is just sad. It’s easy to tell who actually cares about the sport of tennis and who does not.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to JBourque. | September 10, 2018 at 10:35 pm

    I sounds to me like Serena spent too much time wit Hillary, or perhaps they had the same father, and their similar temperament is genetic?

Sigh… really? Some lame-ass people have to trot out the old sexism and racism canards over every little stinking thing, don’t they?

I was watching the matches during the week and I was getting quite tired of the Serena ads. One had her talking about her child and then eventually talking about competition and saying “knock her out”, meaning the opponent. Not nice.

Another one had her being crowned the Queen of Queens. Both ads turned me off and made me cheer for Osaka.

And considering the attitude of the Japanese about mixed marriages, I think that Serena’s antics probably helped Osaka a bunch in Japan. She is probably a hero now, despite any racial problems.

If you watched tennis during the Nastase, Connors, McEnroe era you would have instantly understood what Serena was trying to do. She did exactly what those three men did when they felt outplayed and the match slipping away. They would stop the match with hysterics trying to get their opponent to lose their focus and throw them off their game. Just that slight edge could and did put them back in the game. Nastase especially.

Well, that was what I instantly knew Serena was trying to get her young opponent to lose focus. Unfortunately for Serena, she lost control of herself and she shot herself in her own foot. McEnroe must have enjoyed it.

More noxious than the claims of sexism are the claims of racism in this event. It took less than 12 hours for ESPN to go there (no surprise) running this piece from a “culture critic” on the

Which argues that Williams was punished for her success in 2018 and was the victim in the above 2009 match against Clisters.

They then followed it up with this piece of mental gymnastics again painting Serena as a victim of white privilege somehow.

It was somewhat balanced by commentary from Steven A Smith faulting Williams and this article as well:

Serena is the Hillary Clinton of women’s tennis.
Go into the last match expecting to be handed the trophy at the end of the day.
Bully and intimidate anyone who gets in your way.
Cheat a little, and attack anyone who notices.
Finally when you’re beaten by a better opponent play the victim and point fingers, throw out a few “isms” too.
After all, it’s not your fault that you blew it.

Of course it also helps to have a fawning media on your side who were also expecting you to win with no trouble…

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to HamiltonNJ. | September 10, 2018 at 11:44 pm

    Like Hillary, Serena is getting old for the game she’s playing. She’s 36. We may be seeing the beginning of the end. She’s probably got three or four more good years, racking up more losses during that time, this loss being the first of Serena’s decline.

At least he didn’t draw her wearing jungle fatigues, like what a guerrilla fighter would wear….

What many people do not understand about a certain type of people is that humility and shame are not part of their makeup. Williams is one of these people. In her mind, she is the queen of tennis and all others are unimportant including the line judges. Like many in the NFL she has lost sight of the fact that she is playing a game and not dealing with important issues. Basically, show business. The only adults that I know of who routinely throw temper tantrums are professional sports people and actors.

A face as disgusting and filled with hate and entitlement to rival even moooochelle odumbo’s.

Ugh: serena williams is now the serena williams of women’s tennis.

Karma is a bitch.

Serena is 36 yrs old and not exactly in the best physical condition of her life. She’s moving more weight up and down the court than ever before and she just isn’t playing like she did when she was younger. Lashing out at Ramos doesn’t change any of those facts.

Bitterlyclinging | September 11, 2018 at 6:07 am

MSM motto: “Comfort the afflicted. Afflict the comfortable”

MLK’s march on Selma, and the sympathies generated, have allowed the Black Mafia to infiltrate the MSM’s newsrooms, take over their management and dictate what news will be meted out to the proles.
Jim Acosta’s shenanigans and Corey Booker’s Spartacus both meet with the Black Mafia’s approval and will at the least be tolerated, even lauded.

Pathetic behavior ,, I’m surprised she has not pulled out the Racist Card or claimed Affirmative action.

Serena Williams owes Naomi Osaka an apology.

    By making it Society’s fault, Williams has ensured she never has to give Osaka an apology.

    Funny. It’s almost as if she planned it that way.

What about that 800 Lb Gorilla in the room?

Yes, I mean Serena.

If any of this means anything to you, I have some experience with angry black women lashing out. Serena just got solidly beat. Nothing she had ever done prepared her for that. I’m not a yes man. I am a gentleman. I wish Serena had shown more grace, the grace one would expect of a champion, to Osaka.

Knight’s Twitter account appears to have been deleted.