It is rare that a public controversy that breaks down ideological lines actually has a resolution. The uproar over the sexist “double standards” a tennis umpire supposedly used against Serena Williams as she lost the U.S. Open championship (fair and square) to Naomi Osaka is just such a rarity. Although it should have been obvious on its face (Yes, it’s legal jargon, but I love it) that Serena was grandstanding to distract from her loss and posing as a gender rights crusader when she was really being an entitled celebrity jackass, social justice warriors fell all over themselves rationalizing her outburst, with columns titled, “Right message, wrong timing” at best, and demands that the umpire and the U.S. Open owe Williams an apology for enforcing the rules at worst.
There’s no longer any valid justification for debate. Williams was wrong; her defenders were biased, and it is they, not match umpire Carlos Ramos, who are obligated to apologize.
The New York Times isn’t always spinning for the Left. In a thorough article yesterday, it revealed that when the rampaging tennis diva protested to Brian Earley, the tournament referee, “There are men out here who do a lot worse than me, but because I’m a woman you are going to take this away from me? That is not right,” she was perpetrating a falsehood.
The Times actually looked at the data, something that should have been available to the public immediately after the Williams tantrum, but let’s be grateful for responsible journalism even when it’s suspiciously late. The conclusion: Serena’s accusation notwithstanding, “men appear to be fined proportionally more often than women for a variety of offenses.”
Here’s the Times chart:
The one exception is the infraction that set off the tirade: coaching from the stands, conduct that is specifically illegal. Women have received 152 fines over the 20-year span, compared with 87 for men. The Times speculates that one reason for the disparity may be that the WTA allows limited on-court coaching during its matches, though not from the stands, which is still regarded as cheating (because it is). The theory seems to be that this practice may lead female players to assume that mid-match coaching isn’t a big deal, and that the stands prohibition is just a technicality. My theory is that more female players get coached in matches. just as it is likely that more men get fined for throwing their rackets because more men do it.Never mind, however: the facts show that the “double standard” that Williams was caterwauling about doesn’t exist. If anything, it is the male players who are more harshly treated by referees.
I’ll be waiting for all the feminist warriors, and Serena, of course, to admit, “I guess I was wrong. I’m sorry.”
And waiting, and waiting, and waiting…