Standing up for yourself; Can it be done in a respectful way?

This time around I will tell you right away what this post is about. It is about the United States Open women’s final that occurred on Saturday. Tennis has never been my go-to sport, but I was always aware of the “stars” and their achievements. I like when a competitor is fierce, but there is fierce, and then there are the Williams sisters. There is no denying that they achieved some great things in their sport careers, but I never enjoyed watching games with them in it, because they would revolve too much around them, and not the sport.

And last Saturday showed yet again how mouthy Serena Williams can be. What happened was that she committed three transgressions, which some believe to have costed her the match. First of all, she was accused of being coached, which (for those who do not know the rules) is a big no-no during the match. Afterwards, her coach admitted to having coach her, but suggested that she did not look at him/ see him when he was doing it. Why would he be gesturing if she was not watching? He also admitted that he was aware that it was against the rules, but others did it, too. What kind of excuse is that? The second transgression was when Serena threw her racket against the ground and mangled it. What kind of sportsmanship is that? You can argue the heat of the moment, but if you are someone as experienced as her, you should have more composure and self-control. The final straw was when she called the umpire a “thief”, which was considered verbal abuse. Ultimately, she lost the match, and Naomi Osaka won her first Grand Slam.

Now that you are up to speed on what happened, let us zero in on Serena’s behavior. It started off simple. He accused her of being coached. She did not like that accusation, and so she felt the need to tell him that she never cheated, and that she would rather lose fair and square than win with the help of cheating. OK, fair enough. She could have left it there. But she did not. She DEMANDED an apology, because she did not think it was fair of the umpire to suggest that she was “cheating”. “I have never cheated in my life!” Throughout the game, she kept coming up to him, with his finger pointed at his face, angrily asking for an apology, because she is a mother, and she wants her child to know that she plays fairly. Right there, you should know that this match became just a piece of drama, at a platform for personal agendas.

Whether it just was not her best performance day in general, or whether she became too affected by the first warning, we will never find out. But when her opponent kept scoring, she threw her racket against the court and was cited “racket abuse”. What kind of message does THAT send to your daughter? To avert everyone’s eyes from her anger issues, she went back to the umpire to demand the never given apology, and kept yelling at him. She said that he would never be allowed on her court “ever, EVER” again. Is this not discriminatory? Just because you have some issues does not mean that you can ruin someone’s career. How very motherly of you. Her coach said that: “I mean it’s not a big deal breaking racquets.” Huh? What kind of message does that send to the world? That vandalism is OK?

Because I do not know the exact rules of tennis, I will not argue (please weigh in here, if you do know), but I THINK that the third penalty was because she threatened him (that he would never be allowed to umpire at her game), but he really could not use it against her. Instead, he decided to punish her for calling him a “thief”. I actually did not think it was such a big deal in the whole situation, but maybe it was the only argument he could use to nail her? He “stole” a point from her, because she was being coached illegally, and because she threw a racket (2nd warning comes with a loss of a point).

Was she coached? Yes, the coach admitted to it. Did she abuse the racket? Yes, we all saw it. Did she verbally assault the umpire? Most definitely! So what is the argument about? Apparently it is about sexism, because MEN have done much worse, said terrible things to the umpires and did not get penalized. Because she was, it must be discrimination. What I personally found amusing, was that she admitted that such things happened to her SO many times in her tennis life. Well, maybe you should have learned by now how to act and how NOT to act? Apparently, if you are entitled, then no.

Serena got upset that her character was attacked (cheating), and her excuse was that she is a mom, and so needs to stand up for herself. When that did not work, she decided to take the sexism route, and cry about other players not being punished as harshly as she did. What I was surprised about, and I have to give her credit for that, is that she did not pull the race card. Maybe it was only because her opponent was not white.

Umpires, referees, etc. are often subjects of heated debates when they make questionable calls. There are times when they are wrong, and times when they are right. The umpire in question is known for being strict, but fair. He had been hard on men players as well, which does not substantiate the argument that his moves were sexist.

It broke my heart when I watched the trophy ceremony, during which the viewers booed a lot (to show support for Serena), and the winner apologized for disappointing the spectators (i.e. apologized for winning). That moment was Naomi’s dream come true, and the spotlight was totally stolen from her. She was made feel as if she did not deserve the win, the title and the trophy. What a terrible way to finish such a great season of tennis for this young player. A first Japanese female to have won this title. What does the booing show about us, Americans?

Are you a fan of tennis?

Do you watch male and female games, or just your gender?

Do you think Serena was right to do and say those things in the spirit of standing up for herself?

What would you do if you were in her shoes?

Have you EVER cheated in your life? 

Stay golden,

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45 thoughts on “Standing up for yourself; Can it be done in a respectful way?

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  1. I saw that this morning when I was enjoying my morning coffee. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud literally. Suddenly, it’s all over the place, Serena lost due to sexism!!! How pathetic, I wonder why Tiger never used that excuse? Perhaps he is a consummate professional. When the world revolves around the Williams sisters, and how she was “attacked” and discriminated against for her choice of wardrobe. This is too much fun. Last week is was Kaepernick. A few months ago, McEnroe was bashed for daring to say that Serena was the best female player in tennis. Oh no, everyone exclaimed, how horrible to be labeled a “woman”.

    All of this nonsense, from Lebron talking about racism, Williams talking about sexism and Kaepernick talking about discrimination. A bunch of pansie ass whiners if you ask me.

    All the money and talent in the world, and all they do is complain about how they are “picked on”. And all of these sports networks wonder why they are hemorrhaging viewers?

    Who knew championships aren’t enough for these spoiled brats. Osaka wanted it more than Serena, Osaka worked for what she got. And Osaka’s championship was ruined by a dumbass crowd and by a spoiled brat Serena.

    I wonder what the headline would have been if the crowd booed Serena, possibly accusations of racism would have been levied against them!!!!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yes, I remember the “best female tennis player” comment. I was shaking my head at that, too. Absolutely ridiculous.

      That is exactly how I feel about that trio, too. We must be in cahoots. Russia collusion.

      Amen to the rest of your comment. I was worried that I didn’t have anything passionate to write about this weekend, and then I saw THIS. I guess I should thank Serena for inspiring me. At least she’s good for SOMETHING.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hahahah, oh, I went on hiatus as well this weekend. I have a friend who is truly into sports, he cannot stand all of this nonsense, since his beloved sports have been infiltrated with politics at every turn. From the athletes to the announcers, the moderators, the coaches and the networks.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s what I said.
      Also, it’s not like her daughter is watching and understanding these matches right now. When do we start behaving worthy of parent status? Stormy Daniels comes to mind. She does not want to give her daughter a bad impression because of the whole situation with the President, but she does not care that she is/ was a porn star? Pick and choose, I guess?

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I am an American, I found her behavior was terrible. My high school age son was ejected with a technical foul from a basketball game last year. As far as I could tell it was for a sarcastic facial expression and throwing his arms up in the air. Different rules for different sports.
    I don’t know that much about tennis either, but I was really shocked by her behavior.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think her ego got in the way. Because she is such a big star, she didn’t like the fact that he could crush her.
      I used to play sports. I’d get angry. But we all knew to be careful, because the ref could make it much worse if we gave them a chance.

      Like

  3. This is why I don’t like professional sports.
    There is nothing professional and there is nothing sporting.
    Serena lost in spite of cheating. It wasn’t her loss though – it had to be someone else’s fault. That shows complete like of character in my opinion. She behaved in a shameful and unbecoming manner for a human being, regardless of any other categorisation. She let herself down and frankly, she let me down.
    As a woman, I don’t want the degree of professionalism and courtesy expected of me to be that low. I’ve seen chickens lay eggs with more decorum.
    She owes a great many apologies, especially to the actual victor who won fair and square and hasn’t been lauded for it.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. When you live in a society that makes professional athletes, celebrities and, in some cases, musicians into rich gods, you wind up with people believing that they are above all others because of the pedestal they have been placed upon.

    Human ego is a curious thing. Feed it too much, you breed narcissism. Feed it too little, you breed psychopathy.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I think people often watch sport because of pride of their country or because they like the athlete.
    That’s why I liked tennis and skiing for a while!

    I have read up on Serena a bit and apparently it’s not the first time she showed rage.
    I think some people have a temper like.
    I actually I have too. When I used to play chess and lost, I would blame everything and everyone (including myself). I wouldn’t destroy anything or shout, but internally I was boiling. That’s why I stopped competing, with anything.

    So yes, Serena could have been more professional and her excuses didn’t make any sense.
    But do I blame her? No. In fact, I understand her. It’s a lot of pressure on her.
    Us, regular people, have never dealt with that amount of pressure so it’s easy to judge.

    And no, I have never cheated myself. I couldn’t live with the blame haha.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. When she said “I have never cheated in my life” I took it as something that could be outside of her career, too. I thought back to my school days. Did I cheat? Yep. So it could be any lie, really.

      She is known for her outbursts. I can be an ugly loser, too. However much pressure there is on them, there is also a lot more expectation. Young kids look up to them. Not to me. And because they’ve been at this for so long, they should learn how to harness their anger. Some people do.

      Like

      1. So apart from this being a job where they earn money and happen to be good at, they are also a role model?

        I was thinking about this lately.
        A police officer or teacher on duty must be a role model, but what about their private life?
        Of course this wasn’t Serena’s private life.
        I watched the video. She was, well wow, too much. But I’d prefer my child to look at this, than any music video nowadays.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s not my choice. Celebrities choose to advocate for all sorts of “rights”. Social media is to blame. I never looked up to a celebrity, and I urge young kids to look up to someone in their immediate surrounding, because those people are more real.

          It is true that there is more spotlight on some than others.

          Don’t get me started on music videos.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. I used to play a lot of tennis growing up, it’s a great spot. I watched it back then too. I don’t watch any sports now because it’s never about the sport itself anymore. Social media had ruined the mystique and everybody’s way too sensitive in this world today, just play the game and leave your agendas in the locker room. You get a medal, you get a medal, everybody gets a medal. lol

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’m not really into tennis or anything sports so I don’t know anything other than the basic rules of the game (we were taught in school), but I follow Serena and some other popular players so I’m current in the world of sports.

    I heard the whole story yesterday and to be honest, I was disappointed in Serena. I understand that she felt raged for being accused of something she probably didn’t do, but such an outburst was uncalled for. She could’ve taken a more subtle approach… If she had done that, things wouldn’t have gone out of hand and maybe, she would have won not just the game, but the undying love of those, like me, who worship her. My two cents.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad to hear your opinion.
      I was really surprised by how much the audience was behind her. Maybe it was because they didn’t hear what was actually said (like we did). Let us hope.

      You’re absolutely right. There is always another way to deal with things. Modulating your emotions is a great start.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t really watch tennis or sports very often. I read your post but I want to focus on the first question you posed – “Standing up for yourself – Can it be done in a respectful way?” and my answer is – It depends.

    Depends on whether the person you are standing up to is being respectful to you in the first place, if not, I don’t think I am someone that can just take rudeness sitting down.

    But if the person is being respectful and fair, then yes, it can be done in a respectful logical way.

    Tbh, you never know what kind of things people have faced in their past, yes, it shouldn’t project into your present when you are standing up for yourself. But it does! if that kind of makes sense?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Trust me, I understand. I can get easily fired up. Especially when the other person is being disrespectful, etc. However, I try and find my calm voice. It allows you to gather all your thoughts (vs. when you’re angry, and talk fast, you don’t think too much) and lay it out in an organized manner. Now, of course, some people will still not appreciate it, but you have higher chances of actually being heard.

      But no, definitely, do not take disrespect without saying anything.

      It makes sense, but it complicates things. We have all been through things. We all have some “trauma”, different things we stand for and believe in. Communication can be difficult. The fresher the experience, the more of an impact it has on us. That’s for sure. And definitely, some leeway is recommended. Cut some people some slack. Cut yourself some slack. But do come up with limits.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I love tennis; always have. I used to be an avid tennis player, long before injuries. I can’t stand the Williams’ sisters. They are incredibly strong players, but their attitudes, particularly Serena’s, is AWFUL. She is so unsportsmanlike. I will never watch her play, and I ALWAYS root for her opponent to win. A few years ago, she actually threatened to shove tennis balls down a line judge’s throat because she was once again called out for being unsportsmanlike, and again, threw her racket. She was a sore loser because her opponent was winning. This is not what sports is supposed to be like. I refuse to watch any sport where the players act like spoiled brats all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I can remember one incident when my youngest son used to play on the tennis team for his school. He was a youth tennis coach and some of the younger players used to come to the matches just to watch him. He was having a bad match and was getting frustrated. Then he broke a racket string and had to get a new racket. Then he broke another string and had to borrow a racket from someone else. At some point he had a meltdown. I was embarrassed, and eventually, he was too. He later apologized to his coach and the younger kids who came to see him. What a terrible example to set for them! Definitely not his best day!

    Floating, I have a favor to ask. Will you please post one of your favorite posts here just to help me get this off the ground? I have a feeling that no one wants to be the first.
    https://meditationsinmotion.wordpress.com/2018/09/12/show-me-your-best-link/

    Thank you in advance!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your experience.
      I’m glad your son realized that his behavior wasn’t the best.
      It seems to me like apologizing in today’s world has dramatically changed. We either apologize, because we are bullied into doing so (but don’t really feel apologetic), or we expect an apology for things that aren’t that apology worthy. I wrote a post about this wayyy back – I wish apologies were only given when sincere.

      I’ll head right over, but I see it already took off 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  11. In 1980 I got my first glimpse of John McEnroe. He was incredibly talented and a spoiled brat. The 1980 Wimbledon was an amazing match. You had the professional and stoic Bjorn Borg seeking his fifth consecutive title vs. the up and coming McEnroe.

    What you just described reminded me of that match. They didn’t have the penalties that I can remember but the drama was incredible.

    Excellent write up. Thanks for doing this.

    Liked by 1 person

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