Serena Williams

Serena Williams Was Right To Call Out That Sexist Umpire

This progressive sport is losing its streak.

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Professional tennis has long been esteemed in the sports world as a standard of excellence in terms of gender equality due to the extensive history of fighting for equal pay for equal play. However, assessing inequalities in pay for tournament prize money is only the beginning of what needs to be addressed in terms of gender disparities in the sport.

Serena Williams, a recent mother and phenom in the world of tennis has dealt time and time again with issues that wouldn't be presented had she had been a white male. Seems harsh, however, it is entirely true.

In light of recent controversy surrounding Serena William's upsetting loss in the championship round of the U.S. Open, we are reminded once again that the professional tennis stage is not an equal playing field or court.

During the match, the umpire accused Serena of taking hand gestures from her coach sitting in the stands. At this point in the match, she was already down a set and needed to bounce back in the second to have a fighting chance of playing the third set. This accusation stunned Serena into a tirade that was fueled by her desire to fight for the future rights of tennis players.

She responded to the umpire, "You stole a point from me and you are a thief." This response was retaliated by a penalty ruling after smashing her racquet and further renunciation of Serena towards the umpire, "I have a daughter and I stand for what's right for her."

This behavior has been seen countless times in men's tennis, to the extent that it has been normalized in society. Yet a woman who is playing the exact same sport with the exact same rules is humiliated in the name of double standards.

As said by Christine Brennan, a CNN sports analyst, "We know that there's quite a history to it. Think of John McEnroe, think of Ilie Nastase, Jimmy Connors, Andre Agassi. These men all berated chair umpires, famously so. Commercials have been made. McEnroe has done 'You can't be serious' and all the other tirades top of his lungs over the years and none of them received a game penalty."

Poignantly said by the famous tennis player and activist in the world of tennis, Billie Jean King completely nails the issue right on its ugly head. King is a well-known advocate for gender equality and has long been a pioneer for social justice. In 1973 she beat the 55-year-old Bobby Riggs in the "Battle of the Sexes" tennis match at only 29.

This battle to prove equality in a sport commercialized by its national headquarters, the United States Tennis Association (USTA), has been producing commercials throughout the entirety of the tournament, touting the equality of genders in an advertisement specifically aimed at young players. This marketing tactic has been the source of a series of commercials with titles such as, "Net Generation: Greatness is Waiting" which cuts between scenes of young boys and girls of mixed races playing the sport and saying quotes such as, "Just give me a racquet and watch me go."

Well, USTA, how can you commercialize a sport with children actors depicted as equals, yet allow behavior at the professional level which reduces this proposed value, and results in hypocrisy and disparity?

Mark Welsh Creative

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Extreme Partisan Gerrymandering Is How We Got Extremist Abortion Bans

This is a pressing issue that is often swept under the rug.

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Several states have recently passed legislation restricting a mother's access to abortion, and several others are projected to do the same. Alabama has passed the most severe legislation by banning the majority of abortions, including cases of rape and incest, and abortion providers now face up to 99 years in prison for noncompliance. Georgia's governor has signed legislation banning most abortions after six weeks, with mother's facing prosecution for terminating their pregnancies after this date. A few other states, including Missouri and Louisiana, are in the process of approving similar legislation.

Nationwide outrage over this legislation has taken over many social media platforms, prompting political discourse across the aisle. Tomi Lahren, a conservative commentator well-known for her outspoken nature, even tweeted her disdain for the legislation:

"I will be attacked by fellow conservatives for saying this but so be it, this Alabama abortion ban is too restrictive. It doesn't save life, it simply forces women into more dangerous methods, other states or countries. You don't encourage life via blanket government mandate!" — Tomi Lahren

I side with the many men and women who are horrified at this decision for many reasons. Apart from Governor Kay Ivey's blurred understanding of what separation of church and state really mean when invoking God as a reason for her approval of the country's most restrictive abortion legislation, there are many reasons states have successfully passed such controversial legislation. One such reason is gerrymandering.

As someone who has grown up in the most gerrymandered state in the country, North Carolina, I have witnessed through much of my life the effects gerrymandering has on legislation. Gerrymandering describes the act of redrawing district lines to establish a political advantage for a party. This is a practice done by both Democrats and Republicans and through two primary methods, packing and cracking.

Packing attempts to condense members of an opposing party into few districts in order for the opposing party to dominate in the remaining districts. On the other end, cracking attempts to break apart an opposing party amongst districts in order to dilute the vote of their members by becoming outnumbered by members of the governing party.

Georgia's district lines are a perfect example of packing. Following the 2010 census, Republicans were able to redraw district lines and packed Democrats into as few districts as possible. This decision has led to extremely uncompetitive elections, with many candidates running unopposed because of the district's voter makeup. The impacts of gerrymandering in Georgia were evident during the last gubernatorial election between Brian Kemp (R) and Stacey Abrams (D).

Kemp won barely the election by around 55,000, at 50.8% of the popular vote, yet Republicans hold over sixty percent of the state's legislative seats. This demonstrates how districts can be determined to favor a political party in terms of representation, though not reflect the constituency of the state. This has allowed Republicans to hold the majority of state seats, which contributed to the approval of the abortion bill.

Voter suppression is a serious issue that is often swept under the rug because it allows those who have been in power to remain in power. While it is unfortunate it took this long for many to understand its implications, it is important that the same energy aimed at fighting this legislation is aimed at remedying the long-standing problem of gerrymandering that allows such unsavory legislation to pass.

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We Are All Witnesses To The Future Of Basketball

Its close to the end of march madness and close to the start of the draft

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Every couple years or so, there will be a talent like no other in the draft. This person will be tagged as the next great leader of a powerful dynasty or the leader of the NBA for a decade or so. Players such as Kevin Durant or Lonzo Ball. We are in the middle of witnessing something double that hype. The person I'm going to talk about has made the NCAA his playtoy and has torn up amateur defense after defense, leaving nothing in his wake of destruction. He has made himself into a nightmare with his supreme athleticism or his large body, creating mismatches everywhere around the hoop and all around the court.

Yes I am talking about Zion Williamson.

Zion Williamson is good. How good is he you may ask? He is so good that before even stepping onto a COLLEGE FLOOR, major celebrities such as Drake or Jay Z were at his high school games to get a look at the phenom that would come to dominate basketball for the next decade. Williamson is so good that he literally makes other college programs scout even harder to find a diamond in a rough which they can develop into half the player he is. That is how he knows he's made his impact on the basketball world.

In the 2018-2019 NCAA mens division 1 season, Williamson and another potential top 5 pick in R.J. Barrett have carried duke with the likes of Cam Reddish and other role players this season. They've formulated a game plan to bully their way to the basket and force defenders at the other end to play up to their strengths. This has allowed for them to pick up easy games against smaller teams but if the time comes, they can adapt to the 3 point shot too. Just look at the results of the round of 32 game against UCF, Duke was forced to switch to another game plan because they knew that their idea of getting easy baskets around the rim wouldn't work.

However, even more than a basketball player, Zion Williamson has been controversial figure for his surprising injury. The man who was compared too as being hit by a car suddenly seemed so human when his shoe broke and he was lying there on the floor. This first of all brought up the controversy of shoes put more importantly, should college athletes get paid? This was a serious question to ask as staying a amateur was always considered a bad idea. Why would you limit yourself to getting less money when you can go pro and get paid? And due to the NBA CBA in 2005, you risk not going to the NBA at all if you have an off-season in college. This can hurt your chances to get paid and affects how many players will continue going to the NBA if foreign leagues have spots open with actual paying jobs. As the summer moves closer, Zion Williamson will get his shot to show if he's that once in a generation talent he is expected to be.

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