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Tuesday, September 11. 2018
We just witnessed an historic US Open finish in more ways that one. Not only did Naomi Osaka win the Japan's first title in a major tournament, but Serena Williams managed to overshadow this feat with her tirades and accusations of a double standard. Is there a double standard in tennis? It depends on what you mean. If I am to understand Serena, she gets fined for bad language and behavior while men get away with it.
It is possible, but by no means probable, that men do behave poorly more and it is overlooked. But evidence seems to exist to the contrary. After all, it's rare to see a woman suspended for bad behavior (in fact, I have not found any examples of it) on the court. With men, it's a fairly common experience. Connors, McEnroe, Fognini are only a few who were assessed points, games, fines and/or suspended. These are a few of the higher-profile players who have suffered, but it's by no means rare or unusual.
I have seen, in person, quite a few tennis matches. I have rarely seen women assessed penalties. I can't remember all the times I've seen men assessed, mainly because it's happened frequently enough for me to have forgotten. In general, female players are better behaved than the men. If Serena's claim is that men behave badly more often and are not assessed penalties, that's going to be difficult to back up. However, what evidence exists indicates she's very wrong.
The real question is are women held to higher standards? I'd argue no, because I've watched many female tennis players berate judges without being assessed penalties. I've seen it happen at least as often as I've seen men berate judges without a penalty. I think commenting there is a double standard, though, lacks historical context.
To a large degree, the harshness of today's penalties are a result of the bad behavior of players like Nastase, Connors and McEnroe. Tennis' image was taking a beating when these players began creating a new image of 'bad boy' tennis. They were penalized and fined in the hopes of cleaning up that image, but they were good enough and wealthy enough to overlook it and keep going. Female players, in the 70s and 80s, didn't earn the same level of prize money, though they probably could have waved fines off as easily as men, if they were assessed. Still, one player who was far more outspoken and outrageous than Serena, Martina Navratilova, points out that Serena is wrong about her penalty. Navratilova believes (again, without fact to back up the claim) there is a double standard, but just because it exists doesn't mean it justifies behaving the way Serena did. Meanwhile, Navratilova never faced as severe penalties as those faced by Mac and Connors. I saw her play many times, and she was generally good about maintaining her composure - the sign of a great athlete, in my opinion - and that has a lot to do with the reason there may seem to be a double standard. Great athletes usually are good at maintaining their composure.
The reality is, as a friend of mine said, "The facts don't matter in anything anymore. The only thing that matters is the reaction of social media and the emotions it can generate." This seems to be true. Emotional ties seem to trump reality. When McEnroe - who was penalized frequently - says "Serena's right" people will take him at his word. But his word isn't accounting for the fact that he created the situation Serena faces, and that he was penalized more harshly than she was.
What we're going to wind up seeing is a reaction to a generalized 'feeling' that somehow there is a double standard, even if the facts indicate otherwise. Social media works on feelings, not facts, which is one reason the firms running social media have issues trying to determine what is 'real' news and what is 'fake' news. Serena's double standard is fake news, as is any news which is generated by, or relies on, emotions for support in defiance of fact.
Posted by Bulldog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:43 | Comments (17) | Trackbacks (0)
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I can't get that song out of my head now by Dolly Parton "Just Because I'm a Woman."
I mentioned this yesterday, but I think it bears repeating. There is a subtle but very real difference between accusing an official of incompetence and accusing him of attempting to fix a match. In calling the referee a thief, she crossed that line.
He didn't do anything when she called him a thief. It was when she called him a cheater that he penalized her.
I didn't see anything harsh about what happened.
1- Her coach admitted he was coaching. Both of them knew the penalty.
2- She broke her racket and knew the penalty
3- She called the ref a "cheater" and had to know what was coming.
I think they should take the trophy away from Osaka and give it, like a social promotion, to Williams because she's a mother, a woman and black. She how she and her friends like that.
The REAL question isn't whether women and men are held to different standards - they SHOULD be held to different standards, e.g. men should hold doors for women, offer them their seats when seating is limited, etc.
The REAL question - as indicated by Ms Navratilova - is should ANYONE be allowed to ignore the rules? Bad behavior by John does not justify bad behavior by Jane. We should expect and demand good behavior by all - men and women, professional and amateurs, star athletes and bench warmers.
Ms. Williams should have gracefully accepted her first penalty (if, as her coach says, coaching happens all the time, a seasoned veteran like Ms Williams is certainly aware of it even if she does not actively participate) and moved on. This would be setting an example for girls (and boys). Instead, she chose to act like an entitled brat - perhaps giving her an excuse for her poor tennis performance that day.
My commentary was whether or not women are held to HIGHER standards. I don't believe they are or should be, as is clear.
In a way, this isn't different from Navratilova's point. Everyone is held, and should be held, to the same standard. Nobody should be allowed to behave that way on the court.
"Serena Williams: “I am here fighting for women’s rights and for women’s equality for all kinds of stuff.” Well, a woman won, and the same referee refereed her play as refereed Serena Williams. Where is this oppression of women? It was an all-women’s match with the same referee, and a woman won — a minority woman to boot. So what women’s rights were violated here?" - Rush Limbaugh
To the Left it's all about power and flogging the narrative - logical consistency be damned.
But the scripted narrative, Williams as victorious identity politics standard-bearer, did not survive contact with the enemy.
And never mind that Osaka is half Haitian or that she's likely suffered far more discrimination due to her ethnicity than Williams has due to hers (I love Japan second only to the US, but it's a rather cruel place in many ways). No, unrelenting racism and sexism had to be why Serena lost (the "Plan B" narrative), not her performance on the court, so a spoiled, classless woman somehow ended up a victim worthy of emulation.
She's no victim, but is instead a member of an aristocracy - a crude one, I'll grant - leftists pretend 24-7 to be against.
And Osaka, she's the one who was stolen from, who did nothing but win convincingly and graciously, and whom the frauds "supporting" Williams logically need to be championing if they believe even a shred of the "positions of power" bullshit they spout at every turn. But they only pretend to believe it when it affords them an advantage.
And speaking of "the narrative", today is 9/11, right? I open today's newspaper and, in the AP-profiled handful of people who left NYC in the aftermath of 9/11/2001, there just so happened to be a father of Parkland (FL) students (not victims, happily) who is also an advocate for gun laws. I mean, what were the odds of that particular overlap?!? All narrative, all the time.
This kind of Entitlement attitude is killing sports as enjoyable entertainment.
In general women can get away with anything including murder. They simultaneously demand "equal" treatment because they are "equal" and demand special treatment because men have the advantage. I am here vacationing in Utah and the TV had an add for fire fighters. They need them badly. Especially female firefighters. I have no doubt that there is a small percentage of women who could do the work of a firefighter. I remember I wanted to be one and my uncle who was a firefighter said that one of the tests was to pick up a 180 lb unconscious man in off the floor, put him in a 'firefighters carry and step out the second story window and carry him down the ladder. Not a small feat, I doubt that 1 man in a hundred could do that today without considerable body building and training. But apparently saving people from fires today is less important than being politically correct. I presume that if there is only one or two women per fire station that they could accomplish their goal of "equal" opportunity without sacrificing too many fire victims or angering too many male firefighters who have to pick up the slack of the women. I suggest that we create an all women fire station. Every shift 100% women and then track their progress and results. Perhaps I'm wrong and maybe women should be the primary firefighters. But I suspect that no one is stupid enough to create such an eye opening "test" of ability.
Just passing this along .. several people have noted the penalties in no way changed the outcome of the match. Ms. Osaka had beaten Williams in another tournament this year and went 13-1 in the Open. Williams was just plain getting her a$$ kicked regardless of what the ref did, and it certainly seems she expected him to be down with the USTA's plan that Williams win.
Nobody is really discussing that point. Even Serena is, more or less, admitting Osaka earned the victory.
On the other hand, she immediately blamed sexism for the assessment of the point, game and fine.
Regardless, even those are mild, by comparison to what other men have gotten for similar behavior. Let's not forget, she also threatened a line judge 9 years ago to "shove a racquet down your f******g throat" and she wasn't suspended.
At her age, just making two major finals - after giving birth - is an amazing accomplishment. I believe Nike is setting her up, like Kaepernick, to make money off politicization of sport.
Serena had a typical ‘roid rage tantrum, several, in fact. She has been a steriod, testosterone and HGH abuser for years, and she, and her sister, should have been banned from tennis long ago.
You beat me to it. Serena Williams is juicing and sometimes the roids can come out in her behavior. She didn't used to be so big - only got so heavily muscled around 2012, right when she started working with her French coach and 'went vegan'.
Yeah, people tend to put on 20 pounds of muscle when they go vegan - it happens a lot (eye roll).
I believe it in Serena's case.
Not so much in Venus'. She suffers from Sjrogen Syndrome - an autoimmune disease which requires corticosteroids.
By comparison to Serena, Venus is tiny. Always has been. Serena is an inch taller than me - I've met her. She's roughly my size in many respects, and I weigh 195. She is much more muscular than I am, so her density is higher. Her weight is listed as 165. She's 200 easy. No way she is 165.
Venus (who I've also met) is a much thinner build.
In tennis as in employment and elsewhere, there is very much a double standard -- namely the way too darn many people heed the demands of women and minorities to give them undeserved "passes" for bad behavior that would get us booted out. These freebies prove that it's the groups receiving them that have the "privilege".
If I were the commissioner, Serena would face a ban for at least a year.
As mentioned in your article, Serena is the only woman player that I have seen penalized. She does have a history of abusing the officials on court. She once threated to shove a ball down one official's throat. I was waiting to hear from Johnny Mac on this but haven't heard anything, maybe the network told him to be quiet after the last scandal where he stated that Serena was not the best tennis player ever and that any man ranked in the top 100 could beat her.