Umpires reportedly considering boycotting Serena Williams’s games

Serena Williams returns a shot to Karolina Pliskova, of the Czech Republic, during the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

“Do you really think that would happen if she were a man?… Never have you ever heard that.” – Ethan Bearman, KGO810 Host

The racket surrounding Serena Williams serving an umpire a piece of her mind on sexism is only picking up steam nearly a week after the incident.

The tennis star first hit the headlines Saturday after she called out umpire Carlos Ramos on the court at the U.S. Open for issuing her a penalty that she argued would have been overlooked if she were a man. The punishment for “verbal abuse,” which ultimately cost the athlete a game, came after her angry comments Ramos was a “thief” and preceded two other code violations.

“Do you know how many other men do things that are much worse than that? This is not fair. There’s a lot of men out here that have said a lot of things, and because they are men that doesn’t happen to them,” the athlete proclaimed in near tears to Brian Earley, a veteran referee she turned to for a second opinion on the decision.

Witness the exchange here:

In the aftermath of the drama, Williams stood by her statement, and prominent industry organizations like the U.S. Tennis Association and Women’s Tennis Association did too. However, not everyone is rallying behind her outspoken remarks.

In response to her behavior, umpires are threatening to boycott her matches, according to The Times of London. Retired umpire Richard Ings confirmed to ESPN that his former colleagues are not happy with the criticism that has followed Ramos.  

Host Ethan Bearman can’t believe what he is hearing.

“Do you really think that would happen if she were a man?” he asked. “Never have you ever heard of that.”

Although he understands people are upset by Williams’s conduct, he cannot fathom the same amount of anger would be directed at a man placed in the same scenario. Those who are choosing to focus on her heated attitude are, to him, “missing the point.”

To prove his point, he cited another matter in which a professional female tennis player was, to his belief, unfairly slapped with a violation for her gender. In this case, it was for taking off and quickly adjusting her shirt after realizing it was on backwards. Women’s Tennis Association rules do not permit women to remove their shirts on the court. To no surprise, men have no such restriction on the books.

Listen to the full segment below to hear Bearman’s entire take on the subject.


KGO Events