Monday open thread—It just gets so tiresome

Monday open thread—It just gets so tiresome

The big sports story over the weekend wasn't the return of the NFL. It was a chair umpire penalizing Serena Williams a game at the US Open women's singles final, putting his thumb on the scale just when Serena was making a climb-back against an on-form Naomi Osaka, who went on to win the title.

Fans of Serena were apoplectic over the blatant misogyny exhibited against her. (To compare and contrast, the same chair umpire was in charge of the men's singles final, when eventual champion Novak Djokovic exhibited the same behaviors which resulted in penalties for Serena, with no penalties for him.) Those who don't like Serena fell back on the tropes that she's a princess and a bully.

And then there's this guy.

serena.png

He is, apparently, a cartoonist for a Murdoch newspaper in Australia.

I won't even bother to explain how this is a racist depiction of Serena. I will say that it's not just misogyny she faces, but outright racism. She will break Margaret Court's record, and a black woman from Compton will seal her status as the greatest female tennis player of all time. And in a sport which has been dominated by white players for its entire history, this fact raises existential fears. In sporting terms, it's on a par with the fear white Trump voters have that they are about to be pushed aside by a browning population.

Serena has faced this misogyny and racism her entire career. (Google "Serena and Indian Wells" for some data.) And she's done turning the other cheek. She shouldn't have to. Tennis needs her more than she needs tennis. And if she's going to start to speak out and defend her honor, then that's all to the good.

The opprobrium some heaped on Serena this weekend wasn't because she was "acting like a spoiled brat." It was a racism she has dealt with her entire career. And she's not taking it anymore.

This is your open thread.

 



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