Why Following The Rules Should Not Automatically Equal Bigotry
By: Sammy Quarrato
Are you someone who lets their rage and anger control you during times of competition, such as in sports and debates? Was it over something that mattered to you very much, especially during times of stress?
To be a realist, one could say we have all been that person at some point in our lives. During those moments, we lose our cool and allow emotion to take reign in our decisions.
Serena Williams, one of the best tennis players in the world, has shown that this could happen to anyone. Unfortunately, she demonstrated what it looks like to blow one’s fuse.
Serena Williams fired up a dispute at the U.S. Open after losing a match against Naomi Osaka, accusing the umpire of being openly sexist after giving her what she saw as an unfair tallying of points against her.
Now, the mainstream media is jumping on the opportunity to show that America is still just as sexist as it has ever been and that women are not equal in today’s society.
Every race, gender, religion, and sexuality has double standards in the western world we live in today.
However, we must remember that we have advanced as a nation since the 1960’s when the Civil Rights Act was passed.
We must remember we are still fortunate enough to be living in a country with as many rights as we have, unlike many third-world countries that still abide to oppressive treatments of women.
An important objective is to process what happened, who was involved, and the history behind each individual.
The most important part of this case would be the umpire, Carlos Ramos, who overlooked Serena’s U.S. Open. He is from Lisbon, Portugal and has an infamous reputation within the tennis community as being a stickler for the rules.
He issued strict violations multiple times, once during the French Open in 2016, where many didn’t believe he should have.
However, there are other examples that prove he doesn’t discriminate, despite having a stubborn stickler-like personality.
For example, Andy Murray was issued a code violation during the 2016 Summer Olympics. His opinion on the umpire was that he did, “stupid umpiring.”
Carlos Ramos, proved to not care about the opinions of his critics by umpiring for the French 2017 Open, where Andy Murray was playing against Novak Djokovic, a Serbian player.
Both were given penalizations for different reasons; Murray for a time violation and lose of first serve while Djokovic was penalized for yelling in Serbian and throwing a ball behind him towards a ball boy, which to Ramos, violates sportsmanship.
The reason why I state the gender and national origin of these men is to show that Carlos Ramos is not a racist, nor even a sexist, but just a complete stickler of the rules.
It’s important to show that Andy Murray received this umpire’s wrath twice and rightfully criticized him twice, but did not ever accuse him of discriminating against him.
However, when it happened to Serena Williams, he is automatically considered sexist by Williams and a racist by others. When we look at this man’s history, it’s clear he does this to anyone he believes violates the rules of the game, regardless of race or gender.
Now, the biggest issue throughout this entire situation is that there are women who are actually being oppressed.
For example, women in the Middle East are being forced to rely on men for security and are forced to wear different types of cover-ups that are meant to suppress their sexuality.
There are also women in Sub-Saharan Africa being raped and forced to have many children, or else they will be faced with the consequences of death.
When it comes to sports, players such as Mario Balotelli, a member of the Italian football team, are subjected to racism. When he is on the field, he hears monkey sounds from the crowd. Instances such as these are incomparable to the weak accusations against an umpire for being sexist.
It is clear that Williams was not a victim an umpire’s sexist or racist judgment but one of a person that stubbornly enforces the rules.
Serena Williams should end this controversy and own up to the fact that it was wrong to accuse the umpire of sexism.