Serena Williams has been caught up in a sexism row with the umpire of her US Open grand slam match yesterday. Carlos Ramos gave Serena warnings for coaching and smashing her racket before penalizing her for calling him a ‘liar’ and a ‘thief’. After claiming that Ramos was treating her differently than he would a man, tennis fans have taken to Twitter in support of her message, highlighting all of the occasions Ramos has let men off with the same behaviour Serena exhibited.
According to one twitter user, whose handle is @AgentTinsley, there are many examples that show Ramos' bias towards Serena. Pointing to tennis legends like Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray, @AgentTinsley went on to call the inconsistencies 'insane'.
While the Women's Tennis Association and the United States Tennis Association are standing behind Serena, the penalties still stand and have resulted in Serena being fined $17,000. However, both the WTA and USTA have promised to look into 'whether different standards' apply to men and women in the game.
'Yesterday brought to the forefront the question of whether different standards are applied to men and women in the officiating of matches,' said Steve Simon, chief executive of the WTA, ' The WTA believes that there should be no difference in the standards of tolerance provided to the emotions expressed by men v women and is committed to working with the sport to ensure that all players are treated the same. We do not believe that this was done.'
Despite the anger and frustration at Serena's loss and fine, the promise to look into how umpires deal with emotion issues dependent on gender is an important teaching moment for all sports referees. There is no doubt that we still expect certain behaviours from people based on their gender, and so this calls for umpires everywhere to address their own internal misogyny and understand how it impacts the way they do their job.
Click through to read all of the best Serena Williams quotes...
'Luck has nothing to do with it, because I have spent many, many hours, countless hours, on the court working for my one moment in time, not knowing when it would come.'
Last night's match followed the catsuit controversy last month, where the president of the French Tennis Federation said her catsuit- designed specifically to help her blood circulation post a traumatic childbirth - didn't 'respect the game' (what does that even mean?) and the drug test discrimination she called out in July, it seems Serena is on a mission to expose the prejudice she receives in the game.