Mon, 10 Sep, 2018
Aussies slam Serena Williams' outburst
After an eventful US Open final consisting of Serena Williams throwing a tantrum on the court, the champion player has been dubbed as disgraceful and disappointing by Australian media.
In the playoffs against 20-year-old Japanese player Naomi Osaka, Williams unleashed on the umpire when she was given a code violation for receiving instruction from her coach.
Clearly upset, she responded: “You owe me an apology. I’ve never cheated in my life. I have a daughter and stand for what’s right for her.”
After the events unfolded, Williams addressed her behaviour at a press conference.
“I’ve seen other men call other umpires several things. I’m here fighting for women’s rights and women’s equality,” she said.
“For me to say ‘thief’ and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was sexist.
“He’s never taken a game from a man because they said ‘thief’. For me, it blows my mind.”
Her conduct was the topic of discussion for commentators as they slammed Williams' comments.
Appearing on ABC’s Offsiders, Fairfax’s Caroline Wilson took offence after Williams justified her behaviour with the women’s rights argument.
“She is doing a terrible disservice to women’s rights, to the #metoo movement, to gender equality,” said Wilson.
“To say she’s fighting for women’s rights when what she is, is a bad sport. She’s not fighting for women’s rights, that is a joke and that’s an insult to people who do fight for women’s rights and go through terrible bloodshed and heartbreak.”
Wilson backed up her statements by pointing out Williams' history of bad behaviour.
“I know we take sport incredibly serious these days but how seriously does Serena Williams take herself sometimes,” she said.
“I mean that is just disgraceful. The comment about having a daughter, women around the world would have cringed at that and will have a look at what she had to say afterwards.
“This is a woman who in 2009 threatened to shove a ball down an umpire’s f-ing throat and was only fined $10,000 by her sport. This is a woman who, again, verbally threatened a linesman in 2014. People have not stood up to Serena Williams.”
The Australian’s Peter Lalor agreed with those sentiments, saying the outburst was hard to watch.
“It was her McEnroe moment,” he said on Offsiders. “It’s very disappointing to see a champion like that let themselves down. Nobody owes you an apology, you owe a lot of people an apology and when you calm down, I hope you realise that.
“It just felt uncomfortable because she really snapped, she really lost it. I felt sorry for her to some degree, but she doubled down later, and she really does owe her opponent an apology. It was poor form.”
On Channel 9’s Sports Sunday, Richard Freedman also had something to say.
“The whole bringing in the motherhood thing, ‘I’ve got a daughter and I don’t want her to think I was cheating’, what about blowing up in front of a stand full of people and international television audience and going on like a two-bob watch, is that what you want your daughter to see,” he said.
“And I cannot get over the crowds cheering that sort of behaviour – what sort of morons are sitting in those stands? – and booing the poor girl who stood at the other end, first grand slam, totally intimidated and then booing her. That’s just unbelievable.”
Osaka made history as she is the first Japanese person to take home the title, and the first Japanese player to win a grand slam event. The 20-year-old is still undefeated in 2018.
But while the achievement was meant to be celebrated, instead what Osaka was faced with was being overshadowed by her much more senior opponent.
Osaka even apologised for winning the match, saying, “I know everyone was cheering for her, I’m sorry it had to end like this.”
Williams was seen comforting the champion and asked the crowd to stop booing.
Do you agree with the umpire’s decision? Or are you on Serena Williams' side instead? Let us know in the comments below.