Serena Williams had a heated Saturday night at the U.S. Open Final against Naomi Osaka. Though Williams took a tough loss to the first female Japanese champion, the spotlight was on Williams for an altercation with the umpire.
The umpire, Carlos Ramos, gave Williams a series of code violations during the second set–which included cheating and penalties. Ramos claimed she had gotten coaching from her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, via hand signals during the match.
Additionally, Ramos gave Williams a point violation for smashing her racket, which was followed up by a verbal abuse penalty after her confrontation with Ramos himself.
Williams was not going to let the notion that she had cheated go–she confronted Ramos and said he owed her an apology, stating she would rather lose than cheat.
"You owe me an apology!"
Serena was fired up with the official in the final set of the US Open final. pic.twitter.com/r6RSbrirnV
— ESPN (@espn) September 8, 2018
During her press conference, Williams spoke about sexism in tennis and how she is going to continue to fight for equality in the sport.
Serena Williams says she is sticking up for women's rights in press conference after Controversial & Heated Ump Exchange in Loss at US Open to Naomi Osaka
"I'm here fighting for women's rights and for women's equality."@6abc#serena #USOpen #serenawilliams pic.twitter.com/Fqz0G4jiQM
— Jeff Skversky 6abc (@JeffSkversky) September 9, 2018
Of course, this is not the first incident of sexism in tennis, as just this year Williams was called out for her “catsuit” she was going to wear. Additionally, Alize Cornet received a code violation for simply fixing her shirt and bearing some skin.
Twitter, however, was mixed in their feelings about what occurred on Saturday. Some believed that Williams was absolutely right in her argument and that there is vast sexism in tennis and other sports.
Serena Williams was cheated because an umpire you've never heard of, Carlos Ramos, had his feelings hurt, and needed to exert his authority. Serena is right that it was unfair and wrong. Ramos should have been overruled, and his penalty should he never to umpire a match again.
— Tony Schwartz (@tonyschwartz) September 8, 2018
This #SerenaWilliams match is going to be a big story. She was penalized a point and then a full game! She made point men do much worse and are not penalized at all and she is right.
— Christopher C. Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) September 8, 2018
The hypocrisy of the umpire to penalize @serenawilliams in a sport that celebrated the antics of John McEnroe and Ilie Nastace is a blatant display of sexism #usopen
— Wendell Pierce (@WendellPierce) September 8, 2018
serena williams, with everything on the line, called out sexism. a legend. a true legend.
— Robyn Kanner (@robynkanner) September 8, 2018
serena williams really said “because i’m a woman, you’re gonna take this away from me? men have done so much worse than i have. i haven’t done anything nearly as worse. this isn’t fair” and homegirl is right. it wasn’t fair so screw that umpire
— ric (@ericaahayy) September 9, 2018
Sally Jenkins gets it right in @washingtonpost. “Ramos took what began as a minor infraction and turned it into one of the nastiest and most emotional controversies in the history of tennis, all because he couldn’t take a woman speaking sharply to him.” https://t.co/1suceE0lyD
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) September 9, 2018
Others disagreed, and believed it was blown out of proportion.
Really confused how Serena Williams spun her outburst penalties into a women’s rights issue. Can you imagine, for example, Odell Beckham Jr. creating a social justice excuse for punching a wall last year & the press APPLAUDING him after? Would never happen.
— Britt McHenry (@BrittMcHenry) September 8, 2018
Serena Williams was a sour loser. Forget what Umpire did, graciousness a huge star like hers should have showed to Osaka was lacking.
She almost held her cold stance right till the end. And now just coz Osaka was reduced to tears and Serena looks worse, apologists arrive heavy.
— richa singh (@richa_singh) September 9, 2018
I lost a lot of respect for Serena Williams last night. She is responsible for her coach and whether she saw him signal or not is irrelevant. She then played victim, brought her child into it, and accused the umpire of sexism. She didn't have to create the scene she did.
— Lee (@yelnats_eel) September 9, 2018
Racism didn’t beat Serena Williams.
Sexism didn’t beat Serena Williams.
Naomi Osaka beat Serena Williams.
— Dan O'Donnell (@DanODonnellShow) September 9, 2018
Serena Williams went against the rules, tried to bully the umpire to bend it for her, when she couldn’t , she publicly humiliated him, turned the crowd against him and her competitor, then went on to play the victim , falsely accusing the man of sexism and misogyny.
— The Papi (@tawah89) September 9, 2018
Serena Williams violated 3 fucking rules, threatened the chair umpire and then casually played the 'sexism' card to justify her embarrassing behavior.
Disgraceful behavior from a mega star like her.
— SK (@marceloholic) September 9, 2018