Yes, Serena Williams Was In The Wrong At The US Open

Yes, Serena Williams Was In The Wrong At The US Open

Possibly the greatest tennis player of all time decided to take a stand, but was it the right time?

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To put it simply, I lost some respect for Serena Williams. At the US Open final, Williams caused an absolute scene when the umpire, Carlos Ramos, gave her three penalties while facing off against Naomi Osaka. This is what I thought of the entire situation.

Before watching the highlights I had no idea that you couldn't coach in tennis, and in fact, it seems as if most umpires do not care. But that doesn't mean all umpires are the same, and in fact, Ramos is holding the game to a higher standard by enforcing all of the rules. This was Williams first penalty and when it was announced she went straight up to Ramos and told him how she doesn't cheat and that she thought he was giving her a thumbs up. Her coach Patrick Mouratoglou in an interview afterward said: "I was coaching but I didn't think she looked at me."

Yeah, so that wasn't true.

Williams would later break a racket out of frustration and that is an automatic penalty, which means she is giving Osaka a one-point lead in the next game. After Ramos announces that it is her second penalty, this is where the fuse is lit. Williams berates Ramos continually saying that she isn't a cheater and demands an apology and also that brings up that he attacked her character. She also brings up that she has a daughter and she stands up for what's right for her, which at the time made absolutely no sense. It is clear in the rules that receive coaching and breaking a racket can both be penalties, so fighting Ramos on this will do you no good.

This goes on for a good while, she keeps coming after Ramos and at one point tells him not to talk to her and he leans back into his position, but then she keeps on going. Right before the next match is about to start she calls him a thief, and I know for a fact that Ramos has heard worse things said to him, but I believe that he gave her the harassment penalty because of the entire affair. I mean she was chirping this guy for the entire break, what'd you want him to do? Referees in any sport can not let players (no matter how good they are) feel like they are above their authority. That's not how sports work.

Now, since this is Williams third penalty she has now lost an entire game (that's pretty big) and now this is where Williams starts her speech about sexism. In her defense, you might be able to find some pretty convincing evidence that some umpires do in fact officiate differently based upon sex.

But in the case of Ramos, he's pretty consistent with penalizing all genders. In the 2018 Wimbledon Novak Djokovic complained to him about breaking his racket and was given a penalty. In the 2016 Olympics he gave Andy Murray a penalty because he said "stupid umpiring," he was also given a penalty. He even told Venus Williams to have her coach stop giving her hand signals (you'd think her own sister would tell her about this). Ramos has a history of penalizing the best players on the biggest stages, so this is just another day on the job for him.

Ultimately, where most of my frustration lies was how this robbed an amazing moment away from Namoi Osaka. When Williams went at Ramos for penalizing her for a game I'm not all that sure why she was so angry because anyone could see that Osaka was going to win anyway. This girl was DESTROYING her and the added game only sped things up a little bit. After Williams' argument, she had the crowd with her and halted the momentum of Osaka for a bit. But she was able to overcome it and still win the match. Despite all of that, it still wasn't enough for the fans to not boo her when receiving the trophy.


Think about this Osaka is just 20 years old, grew up loving Serena Williams, and now is about to dethrone her idol and win her very first US Open. Oh and by the way she's the first Japanese player MALE OR FEMALE to EVER WIN a grand slam final. Safe to say this is a big moment in her life. Now it will be replaced with the memory of controversy and an entire stadium booing a 20-year-old girl for upsetting one of the greatest tennis players ever. It got so bad that she had to apologize for her victory.

Everyone in the crowd who booed this girl for doing absolutely nothing wrong should be ashamed of themselves. And so should Serena Williams.

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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Sociolinguistics Series: Part 50

Language is a powerful tool.

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It's part 50--halfway to 100! I'm so glad to still be here writing! In this section, we will talk about Dr. Shikaki's findings on how Palestinians view the state of Israel.

25 years ago, 85% of Palestinians supported a two-state solution. 10 years ago, this number decreased to 70%. Dr. Shikaki believes this was due to an increase in the prominence of Islamism in Palestinian society during the second intifada; Islamists were opposed to the two-state solution. In the most recent survey, the December 2018 one, only 43% of Palestinians supported the two state solution.

In 2000, American President Bill Clinton met with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and PA Chairman Yasser Arafat at the Camp David Summit to come up with a solution to the conflict. It ended without an agreement, but in December of 2000, Clinton once again proposed a resolution: the Clinton Parameters.

The content of the Parameters basically allowed Israel to annex settlements while Palestine to take 94-96% of the West Bank, as well as Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. There were other guidelines regarding territory, refugees, security, and the end of the conflict. Essentially, the West Bank would have been split up by Israeli roads and settlements--which is kind of the reality today.

Both the Israeli government and Arafat accepted the terms with reservations, and Arafat wrote to Clinton a letter asking for clarifications on the terms. Clinton and Dennis Ross, an envoy of the Parameters, publicized that Arafat had refused to accept the terms; they painted Palestinians in a negative light, saying that Israel wanted to accept the peace negotiations but Palestine did not.

American Lawyer Robert Malley was at the Camp David Summit and oversaw parts of the Clinton Parameters. In 2001, he said that three myths had come out of the failure of both negotiations, and that these three myths were dangerous to any future peace processes if people kept believing in them.

These myths are as follows: "Camp David was an ideal test of Mr. Arafat's intentions," "Israel's offer met most if not all of the Palestinians' legitimate aspirations," and "The Palestinians made no concession of their own."

He said that these three statements were not true but very heavily publicized by America and Israel after the negotiations failed; rather, there is more nuance to each of these issues, and America and Israel have just as much responsibility in the failure of the Summit and Parameters as Palestine did. Malley wrote, "If peace is to be achieved, the parties cannot afford to tolerate the growing acceptance of these myths as reality."

Anyway, what does this have to do with Dr. Shikaki? He polled Palestinians not only on the their attitudes to the two-state solution, but the Clinton Parameters as well. 25 years ago, there was 60% support for the Clinton Parameters by Palestinians, but the June 2018 poll showed that the number had gone down to 37%.

The last ten years shows a significant decrease in public support for both the two-state solution and the Clinton Parameters, and it could be a result of disagreeing with specific parts of the proposals (such as how the Temple Mount/Dome of the Rock or Jerusalem is delegated).

I did some further digging when I got home, and I found this data from the UN Division for Palestinian Rights website:

"A 25 December [2000] published poll found that 48% of the 501 Israelis questioned were opposed to the proposals; 57% would object to Palestinian control of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound; 72% were against even a limited return of Palestinian refugees to Israel. A 29 December published poll found that 56% of the Israelis would oppose a peace agreement reached on the basis of the Parameters."

This shows that though public media--especially Western media--may have painted the Palestinian government as the villain (and Israel and America as the "victims"), the proposals accepted by either government had varied support among its people.

The Israeli civilian population did not want to accept the Clinton Parameters because of the way certain things would be resolved; their reservations lie with the Temple Mount/Al-Aqsa Mosque because the Temple Mount, which is the holiest site in the world for Jews, would have been given to Palestine, while Jews would have control of the Western Wall of the Temple Mount (which is the status quo).

In addition, there was a section in the Clinton Parameters that dealt with the right of return for Palestinians, where there would be a certain number of Palestinian refugees who settled in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, while other Palestinians either would become citizens of their host countries, move to a third-party country, or settle back into the land that is Israel Proper (with permission from the Israeli government, of course); many Israelis did not support this.

That was the public opinion years ago. Today, there is even less support for these proposals. Dr. Shikaki outlined three issues as reasons for a decrease in support of compromise, which we will cover in the next section. Stay tuned!

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