In Defense of Serena Williams

I get it. Serena Williams made a huge mistake when she allowed her anger to take her to a place where no professional of any field should ever go. I definitely think that she deserved to be admonished and fined.

But enough is enough and the witch hunt should cease. Yes, I meant witch hunt because anyone who watches tennis, knows that commentators, spectators and the like have been laying in the cut waiting for an opportunity to pounce on the Williams sisters. Yes, I said it and I mean it.

Over the years, they have put up with sheer and utter foolishness — being booed outrageously at Indian Wells, talked about like dogs because of their sense of fashion and bullied for having the audacity to even get hurt. The fact that their injuries result in immediate questioning about their “loyalty” to the game from commentators is absurd. Positioning them as lazy because they don’t play every single tennis tournament is asinine. Why play small tournaments, when you win most of the Grand Slams?

At any rate, they have endured and I must say that what is most shocking to me is that it took so long for one of the Williams sisters to snap. Playing in a grand slam tournament is stressful enough, but add all of the other mess they have to deal with on top of it, and I’m not surprised at what happened. What we witnessed this past weekend was a Black woman fed-up with having to be “nice” about being disrespected and maligned on and off the court.

Serena, the defending champion, was about to lose the match based on a bad call — a foot fault that wasn’t. What could have been her 12th Grand Slam win, was being taken away from her.

Yes, she was losing and probably would have lost, but give Kim Clijsters the opportunity to dispose of her properly and give Serena Williams the opportunity to rally, which she has done on multiple occasions. But a foot fault?

I do not believe that Roger Federer or Andy Roddick or Kim Clijsters who has fought long and hard to get back to where she is now, would have gently shrugged their shoulders and walked off the court when facing a loss at a grand slam tournament by a foot fault, especially as the defending champion. Can you imagine if that had happened to John McEnroe during his heyday?

But I am pontificating, since that would probably NEVER happen to one of them, especially as defending champions, for some strange reason. (read more)

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