On Saturday, Serena Williams suffered a controversial loss to her opponent Naomi Osaka in the U.S. Open Finals. As previously reported by Inquisitr, Williams got into a heated argument with chair umpire Carlos Ramos after he penalized her for allegedly violating Grand Slam rules by receiving coaching from Patrick Mouratoglou. Williams challenged the umpire about the violation, saying that she doesn’t need to cheat to win, and saying that her coach was simply giving her a thumbs-up during play.
Things escalated after Williams slammed her racquet on the court after losing a serve, and Ramos penalized Williams with a point penalty. Williams accused Ramos of stealing a point from her, calling him a “thief” and launching another heated debate between the player and umpire. Finally, after another argument with the official, Williams received a full game penalty. Williams ultimately lost the match 6-2, 6-4 to Osaka.
NBC Sports reports that on Sunday, Williams has been fined a total of $17,000 for three code violations. The U.S Open referee’s office leveled a $10,000 fine for “verbal abuse” of Ramos, $4,000 for the coaching warning, and $3,000 for breaking her tennis racket.
The fines will be deducted from Williams’s $1.85 million prize money as runner-up.
Many athletes, including tennis legend Billie Jean King, and fans have taken to social media in support of Williams, alleging that she was unfairly penalized due to sexism and double standards around women athletes and their behavior.
NBC reports that during the match, Williams stated, “There’s men out here who do a lot worse. But because I’m a woman, because I’m a woman, you’re going to take this away from me? That is not right and you know it.”
While commenting on the match, professor Dunja Antunovic stated that a gendered double standard was clearly at play in the umpire’s treatment of Williams.
“Women are described as emotional and not as tough or prepared to deal with tough matches. There has been some evidence that the commentary and the way we interpret women’s behavior in sports tends to be different than men. That’s also how women’s behavior is interpreted in the workplace. What’s seen as disruptive for a women is seen as leadership for a man.
Tennis star James Blake was one of several athletes that took to Twitter in support of Williams, commenting that male athletes are given much more leeway in terms of behavior on the court.
I will admit I have said worse and not gotten penalized. And I’ve also been given a “soft warning” by the ump where they tell you knock it off or I will have to give you a violation. He should have at least given her that courtesy. Sad to mar a well played final that way. https://t.co/xhBzFZX8Wq— James Blake (@JRBlake) September 9, 2018
Blake also pinned a video post of Williams on his Twitter profile, tweeting “Everyone should listen to this from Serena Williams.” In the video, Williams answers a question from a reporter about the unfair treatment of women in the sport. William’s voice begins to crack as she tears up and talks about how she is making a stand against sexism. She is met with applause from reporters in the room.