When Serena Williams was fined £13,100 for effectively losing her temper at the US Open final, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and Billie Jean King both expressed outrage and backed claims she’d been on the receiving end of sexism, claiming male players aren’t held to the same standards.
On Twitter however, women said they were sadly unsurprised by what went down arguing that this debate is about so much more than tennis, but how women, especially black women, are treated in day-to-day life.
In a tweet that’s been liked more than 6,000 times, author Charlene Carruthers said: “What happened to Serena happens to black women in the workplace every day.
“Serena was at work. Tennis is her profession. She’s in a profession that doesn’t fully honour or respect her the way she should be. She’s in the ranks of so many black women.”
For those who missed the match, Williams was given a coaching violation after her coach gave a hand signal, then docked a point when she smashed her racket following an argument with umpire Carlos Ramos over the incident. The row escalated and she was given a third violation for her conduct, which resulted in a game penalty. Many including the WTA have pointed out male players have not been punished in the same way in the past, saying “there should be no difference in the standards of tolerance provided to the emotions expressed by men versus women”.
Carruthers pointed out that Williams is at the very top of her field, highlighting that millions of eyes witnessed the incident, but other women will not have this exposure.
“What about the women who have no wealth, no visibility and no platform? It happens everyday and there is little to no defense,” she said.
Others on Twitter agreed the incident was reflective of how women are treated in wider society.
But some on Twitter think Williams was punished in accordance to the rules and said the debate isn’t about sexism or racism.
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