Serena Williams: It's all a question of perspective

Serena Williams: It's all a question of perspective

Many actors in the tennis scene are in solidarity with Serena Williams, who accused Ramos of having sexism because he punished them in the final of the US Open.
 The tennis federations put themselves on the side of the 23-times Grand Slam winner – but provide no evidence of the dysfunction of the referee.
 From Serena Williams' point of view, one can understand the charges trotdzem. She was too often disadvantaged in her career.

       By Jürgen Schmieder, New York



    The world and things change when viewed from a different perspective. There is therefore no incontrovertible truth about what happened at the women's finals of the US Open in tennis and how the process of dealing with events has to be shaped. The Facts: Naomi Osaka won 6-2, 6-4 and Serena Williams has been warned three times by referee Carlos Ramos for coaching, club smashing and unsporting behavior. Everything else is interpretable, that is the reason why the perspectives of the protagonists are so different from each other, that this Saturday evening is now heaved to a social level. It's about sexism now.


    Steve Simon, head of the Women's Tennis Association (WTA), has issued a statement stating, "The WTA believes there should be no difference in treating men and women when they are showing emotions in the field working to ensure that all players are treated equally, we believe that was not the case. "

Who roars and insults, must bear the consequences
                In the final of the US Open, Serena Williams takes a beating – but wrongly: The referee, on whom she deferred, has behaved completely correctly.
                Comment by Jürgen Schmieder
            more …

There are men who scolded and ran away with less


    This is a bad reproach: Carlos Ramos, a man, Williams had discriminated only because she was a woman. Williams himself claimed right after the match: "I felt it was sexist, I fight for women's rights and for equality, and women will be able to express emotions in the future because of what happened today." Katrina Adams, president of USTA, said the day after the final, "There is no equality."


    Serena Williams grew up in Compton, a still-dangerous city in southern Los Angeles; The tennis establishment wriggled indignantly as Venus and Serena Williams, two black girls with colorful beads in their hair, beat the mostly fair-skinned All-American Girls off the pitch. Serena Williams has also become so successful because she has questioned the (often unwritten) rules of her sport, she has rebelled against this establishment, and she has been punished for it. For example, in the quarter-finals of the 2004 US Open, when the referees made grotesquely wrong decisions to help light-skinned All-American girl Jennifer Capriati win over Williams. British TV presenter Piers Morgan, a populist, once told her that her victory dance made her look like a gangster. Reporters keep asking if she considers herself one of the greatest athletes in history, implying that she can not be more legendary than male legends.


    On Saturday Williams has – as you can see on the TV pictures – the gestures of her trainer Patrick Mouratoglou not seen during the finals, Ramos already. Williams questioned her integrity, and the situation escalated when Ramos, after being verbally abused by Williams, interpreted the accusation of "thief" as an insult and pronounced the third warning. Williams thought this term harmless, so she accused Ramos of sexism: "He has never taken a man off a game because the 'thief' said to him."


    From the perspective of Williams, Saturday was a low point in the life of one who has already experienced much racism and sexism. She felt wronged and unfairly accused: her coach had violated the rules, not her. Based on past experience, she suspected a systematic discrimination, because of her skin color and because of her sex. From the perspective of Williams, it is understandable that she now thinks as she thinks.


    There have, in fact, been men in the history of this sport who have abused the referees when Williams did that, and got away with a warning or less. However, Jeff Tarango was warned at Wimbledon in 1995 for calling the audience "shut up". Former world-class player Martina Navratilova writes in The New York Times: "Just because men get away with worse things does not mean that what Williams did was right."


    And now?


    There are several players who solidarize with Williams, for example, Novak Djokovic said after his victory in the men's final: "The referee should not have driven Williams to this limit, least of all in a Grand Slam final." Djokovic knows that athletes can break under the pressure of an important match: "We all experience emotions when we fight for this trophy." But Djokovic also said, "I do not see it like Simon, I do not know where he comes from that statement, I believe that it always depends on how men and women are treated, it's difficult to do things like that generalize, I do not think we need to debate it now. "


    This leads to two further perspectives: the US Tennis Association and the WTA. The bosses Adams and Simon have made dire allegations without providing any evidence. Ramos is an integral referee, he has led Grand Slam finals and an Olympic final – it is known that he sets the rules strictly. He has warned Williams' sister Venus at the French Open 2016 for alleged coaching and has issued warnings in the past two years against Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Nick Kyrgios. He is respected because he is not afraid of the big name of this sport.


    "The decisions are in line with the regulations," affirms the international association


    So far, there is no evidence that women in tennis are systematically treated differently than men. There was a warning for Alizé Cornet at the US Open this Saturday night, who had changed her shirt on the court. The warning was withdrawn after the game, the US Association apologized and changed immediately the rules. Serena Williams is the most important protagonist in women's tennis, so possibly USTA and WTA saw themselves obliged to take the perspective of Williams unconditionally – Adams had already said at the award ceremony: "We all wished for a different outcome." They need Williams more than Williams needs tennis.


    Sexism is undoubtedly a cancer of society and must be combated, there must be no debate about it. However, it is debatable whether this women's final is actually an example. In the debate so far, the perspective of referee Carlos Ramos is missing. He has not commented on the allegations against him. But there is a statement by the International Tennis Federation ITF: "It is understandable that this unfortunate incident is triggering a debate." Mr. Ramos' decisions are in line with the regulations and have been confirmed by the US Open as Serena Williams for all three offenses with a fine ($ 17,000, editor's note). "


    The world and the things in it change when viewed from a different perspective.

Marginalized and still at the top
                        The triumph of the Japanese Naomi Osaka at the US Open is in view of the Ausraster of opponent Serena Williams almost a minor matter. Who is this thoughtful 20-year-old?
                    By Jürgen Schmieder