London based newspaper, The Times reports that umpires have vowed to band together against Serena Williams for taking Carlos Ramos to task during the US Open finals after he accused the tennis phenom of cheating. Now, the umpires reportedly plan to boycott the Williams’ future matches.
Ramos slapped Williams with several penalties with accompanying fines totaling $17,000 after she asserted herself and challenged the umpire for saying she was being coached during the game. Williams shot back and called him a “liar” and a “thief.” It was enough to get under his thin-skin and some say it enabled newcomer Naomi Osaka to secure her first US Open win against her idol.
The umpires are now allegedly putting forth a united front to stick it to a woman who is already being hammered online by white news outlets, including one that portrayed Williams’ as a tantrum-throwing Sambo looking baby with oversized lips and grotesque facial features. The same cartoon paints Osaka, who is Haitian and Japanese, as a slim, blonde, white woman.
Williams on the other hand said she will continue to fight against sexism and the double-standards that favors male, mostly white players.
An anonymous official told The Times that there was a growing consensus that umpires were not supported by the USTA on several occasions, and that Ramos was thrown to the wolves for simply doing his job. Umpires are discussing whether they could take action to stand up for their profession. One suggestion being floated is to refuse any match assignments involving Williams until she apologizes for vilifying Ramos.
At least one historic figure in the world of tennis said on Twitter that she has Williams’ back, calling out what she views as sexism;
“Several things went very wrong during the U.S. Open women’s finals today,” posted retired tennis star Billie Jean King. “Coaching on every point should be allowed in tennis. It isn’t and, as a result, a player was penalized for the action of her coach. This should not happen.”