Umpires to boycott Serena Williams matches

Sep 2017
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#21
if everything is sexism, then nothing is sexism

you should pick better hills to die on
That's my view, as well. There's very real sexism in pro tennis (e.g., women still make a lot less in non-grand-slam events than men), but when you start lobbing the term around in cases where sexism isn't clearly implicated, it undermines the charge elsewhere.

I'm open to the idea that Ramos was sexist, if someone can bring evidence. For example, if someone can show me he issues code violations to female players twice as often as to male ones, that would do it for me. Or if someone were to show me a pattern of him taking away significantly more points per match from female players than male ones. Or if someone were to show that his male vs. female officiating patterns are very different from the male vs. female officiating patterns of most refs, in a way that's harder on females. Etc. But, so far, I haven't seen any of that. Basically, it's just an assertion -- he's a sexist, because we wish Williams hadn't been penalized; or he's a sexist because some men have gotten away with bad behavior in the past. That just doesn't do it.
 
Likes: OlGuy
Sep 2017
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#22
first time I've ever heard of umpires considering boycotting one player. Is that a thing now? Sounds like a bad idea. She was already fined and given the penalty of losing the game. Which was beyond what would normally happen as it was. Now, these umpires are considering throwing a tantrum because one of Ramos isn't getting the "support" he deserves? Fine. Quit. How can they expect players to behave professionally when they're behaving like whiny little babies?
I don't know whether it's true to say that the penalty she got was beyond what would normally happen -- I'd need to see a decent study of cases where a player with two code violations spends minutes continuing to verbally abuse an umpire. But, I agree with regard to the umpires. Ramos was backed up by the sport and Williams already got her penalties, so there's no point in boycotting simply because they think he should have been backed up even more vocally. I assume the boycott will come to nothing.
 

the watchman

Former Staff
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#23
I don't know whether it's true to say that the penalty she got was beyond what would normally happen -- I'd need to see a decent study of cases where a player with two code violations spends minutes continuing to verbally abuse an umpire. But, I agree with regard to the umpires. Ramos was backed up by the sport and Williams already got her penalties, so there's no point in boycotting simply because they think he should have been backed up even more vocally. I assume the boycott will come to nothing.
as I understand it several pro tennis players have said the umpire went too far.
 
Feb 2010
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#24
The thread title states the umpires are "going to do it".

But then the actual article says: "...and cite one anonymous source claiming that umpires are considering boycotting matches played by Williams."


Let's read that again together........"one anonymous source says umpires are considering".



The needle on my outrage meter is currently stuck on zero.





..
 
Sep 2017
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#25
does the boys club sticking together surprise me when called out on sexism.... not one bit.
Here's a way to think about that sexism charge. Imagine for a moment that the charge wasn't sexism, bur rather racism, and was being directed not by Williams against Ramos, but by Ramos against Williams. Imagine he was saying that Williams was a racist, and that she'd never have called a non-Hispanic umpire a "thief" the way she did him. What would your reaction be to that charge of racism?

For me, my reaction would be "support your allegation or retract it." I'd keep an open mind. Maybe someone can show a convincing pattern of behavior from Williams where she is polite to black and white officials, but repeatedly verbally abuses Hispanic ones. I doubt such a pattern exists, but it's at least conceivable that her tirades are mostly reserved for those of certain ethnic heritages. But, unless a person could bring that kind of evidence to bear, I'd consider it reprehensible to accuse Williams of being a racist.

Well, that's the same reaction I have to hearing Ramos called a sexist. I want the allegation to either be supported or retracted with an apology. I don't think it's fair to lob an attack like that at a person unless you can bring evidence to bear.
 
Likes: The Man
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#26
as I understand it several pro tennis players have said the umpire went too far.
Yes. Williams is very popular and very good for the sport -- and also good for the society as a whole, in the way she has helped to break down racism. So, I understand the urge to support her. But, when I go into the actual film, I just don't see a way to claim he went too far. Which step, specifically, was too far?

(1) A warning when he caught her coach cheating.
(2) A point deduction when she smashed her racket.
(3) A game penalty when she continued abusing him.

From what I can see, no players object to number 2 -- she destroyed her racket in a tantrum and every time someone does that there's a code violation issued. He effectively had no discretion there. So, it was either the first or the third item that "went too far." So, let's address those:

(1) He caught the coach cheating. The coach admits he was cheating. They got off with nothing but a warning. Some seem to think that it should have been a "soft warning" -- basically a warning that they would be warned if they kept misbehaving. That seems weird to me. It basically says "feel free to continue cheating for a while, because there will be no actual repercussions until I've managed to catch you twice more." A proper warning the first time seems appropriate to me.

(3) If he'd called the third code violation immediately after the second, during her initial emotional outburst, I'd consider that going too far. Sure, the rules would have supported it, but a certain amount of venting is to be expected when you take a point, and so the smart move would be just to absorb the abuse for a minute, letting her get it off her chest, then move one. But he did that. He absorbed her abuse stoically with no penalty. He let her demand an apology from him repeatedly. He let her call him a liar. He let her threaten him that he would never ref another of her matches. He let her yell at him over and over, without even raising his voice in return. He let her order him not to talk to her when he tried to justify his call.... and he even obeyed the order, by shutting himself up and staring ahead. Only after minutes of abuse, when she escalated things and called him a thief, did he issue the third code violation (which, by the rules, had to be a game penalty). Was that too much? How much longer should she have been allowed to go on abusing him with no repercussions? How much more should she have been allowed to escalate her attacks?

I suppose that if she were a lower-level player, you could argue he should just suck it up and deal indefinitely, because ultimately the fine for her misconduct would get her attention and she'd be better behaved in the future. But a $17,000 fine for Serena Williams is pocket change. Even in 2017, when she was basically on maternity leave for the year, Williams earned about $18 million thanks to endorsements. It's like a normal person being fined a couple hundred bucks. It just isn't going to make a big impact on future behavior. But having it actually hurt on the court will get her attention.
 
Apr 2015
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#27
men have been behaving badly on court for years. They are famous for breaking their rackets and cussing out the officials.....and nothing happens.
Gotta call "BS" on this one. John McEnroe is clearly the epitome of male bad behavior and was roundly criticized, and heavily fined, for such on-court antics as Serena was trying to pull. This politically correct knee-jerk defense of her terrible on court behavior is a sham.

FOR THE RECORD: MCENROE'S TANTRUMS AND FINES
United Press International
Published: July 4, 1991 12:00 am




2
Comments

The record of John McEnroe's altercations with tennis authorities since he broke into the international circuit in 1977.
June 1977 - Screamed obscenities at French Open line judge while winning mixed doubles final with Mary Carillo, but was not fined.July 1980 - Earned first major warning at Wimbledon for behavior during semifinal against Jimmy Connors.
July 1981 - Fined a total of $6,000 at Wimbledon when he called chair umpire "pits of the world" and told him, "You cannot be serious!" Referee Fred Hoyles said he had come within two tantrums of disqualification during early match against Tom Gulliksen. Defeated Bjorn Borg in a four-set final, but boycotted champions dinner, resulting in another fine. Recommended additional fine of $10,000 overturned on appeal.
May 1983 - Fined $1,000 for calling Czech opponent Tomas Smid a "communist bastard" at Forest Hills event.
June 1983 - Fined $3,500 for clashing with photographer at courtside during French Open.
July 1983 - Fined $325 for swearing at spectator during Wimbledon. Fines during the year totalled $7,500.
May 1984 - Fined $7,500 for misconduct during Stockholm Open.
June 1984 - Accrued fines totalling $3,500 for swearing at linesman and other verbal abuse during match against Connors at French Open.
January 1985 - Dropped from U.S. Davis Cup team after "outrageous behavior" during 1984 final defeat by Sweden.
June 1985 - Loses honorary membership of London's Queen's Club for abusing chairman's wife while practicing. McEnroe later was reinstated.
December 1985 - Fined $3,500 for three separate offenses at Australian Open, culminating with verbal abuse of opponent Slobodan Zivojinovic.
January 1986 - Beaten by Brad Gilbert at Masters finals in New York and fined $1,000 for arguing with spectators.
September 1986 - Received fines totalling $3,500 at U.S. Open after he and partner Peter Fleming were disqualified for arriving late for men's doubles match. Fine broke down to $750 for being late and $2,750 for saying what he thought about the disqualification.
April 1987 - Fined $2,000 for time-wasting during match at WCT event in Dallas.
May 1987 - Fined $4,000 for walking off court during World Cup in Dusseldorf.
September 1987 - Suspended two months and fined $10,000 for various offenses at U.S. Open.
July 1988 - Warned for racket abuse during defeat against Australian Wally Masur at Wimbledon.
July 1989 - Australian John Fitzgerald, a fourth-round loser to McEnroe, accuses him of using tantrums to put off opponents.
January 1990 - Thrown out of Australian Open and fined $6,500 after receiving third warning for misbehavior against Mikael Pernfors.
April 1991 - McEnroe admits own behavior on court "sickens me" after receiving a code violation and point penalty during defeat by fellow American Todd Witsken in Hong Kong.
July 1991 - Fined $10,000 for swearing at linesman in Wimbledon loss against Stefan Edberg, picked up by television microphone.
Total fines - $69,500.

FOR THE RECORD: MCENROE'S TANTRUMS AND FINES
 

The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
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#28
first time I've ever heard of umpires considering boycotting one player. Is that a thing now? Sounds like a bad idea. She was already fined and given the penalty of losing the game. Which was beyond what would normally happen as it was. Now, these umpires are considering throwing a tantrum because Ramos isn't getting the "support" he deserves? Fine. Quit. How can they expect players to behave professionally when they're behaving like whiny little babies?
All I know is, and I am not all that familiar with pro tennis and its rules; but in other sports these days, they take disrespect of officials very seriously.

Try it in soccer, for example, and you get thrown out of the game and maybe even banned from subsequent ones: UEFA charges Buffon for abusing Madrid-Juventus referee - Sportsnet.ca

In the NHL also, abusing a ref can get you a lengthy suspension: A history of NHL suspensions for abuse of an official - Sportsnet.ca

Yet tennis players should be able to get away with it, in your view?
 

the watchman

Former Staff
Jul 2011
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#29
All I know is, and I am not all that familiar with pro tennis and its rules; but in other sports these days, they take disrespect of officials very seriously.

Try it in soccer, for example, and you get thrown out of the game and maybe even banned from subsequent ones: UEFA charges Buffon for abusing Madrid-Juventus referee - Sportsnet.ca

In the NHL also, abusing a ref can get you a lengthy suspension: A history of NHL suspensions for abuse of an official - Sportsnet.ca

Yet tennis players should be able to get away with it, in your view?
who said anything about getting away with it? What I said is that she shouldn't be penalized beyond the norm. That's what's pro tennis players are saying happened here.
 
Sep 2017
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Massachusetts
#30
who said anything about getting away with it? What I said is that she shouldn't be penalized beyond the norm. That's what's pro tennis players are saying happened here.
Two points:

(1) It's quite possible for her to have been penalized beyond the norm but for perfectly acceptable reasons. If this particular official just runs a tighter ship than most, such that he issues official warnings the first time he catches someone cheating, rather than "soft warnings," is that really a problem? If players know that he's a no-nonsense umpire, and he's consistent about it as between the players, that's just another aspect of the mental game that players need to prepare for. If we tolerate any variation in standards from one umpire to the next, that means, by definition, that sometimes players will be penalized beyond the norm. And if we're not going to tolerate any variation, wouldn't it be better to change the rules, instead of expecting every umpire to make the exact same judgment call about which rules to bend for which players?

(2) I still haven't seen a demonstration that this was "beyond the norm." Which particular call was beyond the norm, and what evidence is there that the norm is different? That should be possible to show statistically. For example, if the norm is that players caught cheating, the way Williams was, first get a "soft warning," and only get an official warning the second time they're caught, then it should be possible to quote how many 'code violation' warnings for coaching came after an initial soft warning, versus how many weren't preceded by a soft warning. I haven't seen that. I have seen a number of stories about players getting code violations for coaching, but none of them mentioned having first gotten a soft warning.
 

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