Serena's Call to End Sexism in Tennis and Why It's Important
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Serena's Call To End Sexism In Tennis Is An Important Issue for Black Women

It's hard being a black woman who strives to fight for what's unfair, our passions, and equality.


On September 9, 2018, Serena Williams played in the U.S. Open against Naomi Osaka, who represented Japan to win the Grand Slam singles tournament. Naomi Osaka defeated Serena in this match and became the first Haitian-Japanese woman to win the U.S. Open. Both ladies fought hard for the title, but during the match, a disagreement happened between the Umpire (an official who watches the match closely to make sure the rules are being followed and settle any disputes that may occur) and Serena Williams. In this disagreement, Serena called out a major issue that happens often in tennis (and many other sports) which is sexism.

This struck a chord within me because as a young black woman, I have experienced sexism, not in the sports realm, but in academia and everyday life situations. It's hard being a black woman who strives to fight for what's unfair, our passions, and equality. We are often seen as being crazy or acting "ghetto" for calling out people out on remarks that are racist and sexist. Throughout the game, she was penalized for smashing her racket and "verbal abuse."

Serena called the Umpire a thief because of the penalty ruling and was fined $17,000 for the violations. While talking to the Umpire she said, "I don't cheat to win, I'd rather lose." which shows not only her incredible sportsmanship but her overall character as an athlete and Black woman. This hasn't been the only form of discrimination that Serena has faced as an athlete in this sport. She's been drug tested more than any other tennis athlete and was even banned from wearing a black catsuit that was used to help blood circulation after her difficult childbirth.

During the press conference that took place after the match, Serena said "I'm here fighting for women's rights and women's equality and for all kinds of stuff. For me to say 'thief' and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark." I agree with this because according to Serena, men in tennis have called Umpire's all sorts of names and have never gotten penalized for it. Also, many of us can see through everyday life experiences (in various social settings) that men are hardly punished for the sexist remarks they make. As a Black woman, its hard navigating spaces like these because of the constant discrimination we experience within them.

Black women are seen as being "overemotional" in these settings when men are seen as being "outspoken." It's not fair and men deserve to have the same repercussions that are given to us. The way that Black women are portrayed in contrast to men is a double standard that has got to go. We need more people to call out those who are being complacent on this issue to see change. There are more voices needed for there to be any sort of progress. Both Naomi and Serena were left in tears after the match and this should have never happened. They both deserved to have a positive match and that was taken from them. Both women exhibited a level of Black Girl Magic that was incredible.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Founders Of Color: Rec Room's Dre Taylor On What Blackness Can Look Like And Not Working For Free

"It mattered to me that when we were depicting racial diversity for Rec Room, we showed the broad spectrum of what Blackness can look like."

Rec Room

The world of sustainable fashion is inundated with marketing gimmicks, false advertising, and large corporations cutting corners — Rec Room is the pure antithesis of that.

Keep Reading... Show less

Dunkin' just announced that they'll be releasing their fall menu earlier than ever — set to debut on August 19 — and that it'll include new menu options this season, including a new signature pumpkin spice latte. Let me just say, Starbucks has some fall-menu competition now.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

CBD Lip Balm Is The Calming Presence You Need In Your Life, Trust Me

I tried lip balm, sleep gummies, and an oil dropper from CBDistillery. Here's the final verdict.


CBD has been on making waves within the wellness space for the last few years. Generally related to the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain, it's growing easier to find small CBD companies who are making products specifically designed to fit your needs. As FDA rules for CBD production can be a little hazy, it's true that not all CBD products are created equally. That's why it's important to look into the manufacturing of whatever you're deciding to try, especially if you're new to taking CBD.

As someone who has tried a variety of CBD products — some victories, some failures — I was thrilled when CBDistillery sent me a package of their favorites. They included a Broad Spectrum CBD Oil Tincture, their Nighttime Gummies, and a CBD Lip Balm.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Went To Disney For The First Time Since COVID-19 And It's Officially The Cleanest Place On Earth

I stopped focusing on the pandemic simply because, for the first time in months, I felt safe.

After a few months of self-quarantining, becoming suspicious of every cough, and blowing through masks like a medical school student, restrictions due to the pandemic are easing up a bit and businesses are warily reopening. While these public spaces may look the same on the outside, the way they function and operate is vastly different than a few months ago.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 At-Home Therapy Tips You Need, No Matter What Your Therapy Routine Is

Whether you're in a Zoom session or live-chatting, make sure your home therapy space is good to go.

No matter what stigmas you held about therapy before this year, I'm sure 2020 has affirmed that we could ALL use a nice long therapy session. Between wildfires that took over an entire continent, a global health crisis, and what's sure to be one giant circus of an election in the United States, we need help and we need it now.

The fact of the matter is, therapy has been a helpful, valid resource long before the world decided to become one giant dumpster fire. Having a safe space to discuss what's going on in your life, worries you have, and struggles you're facing has become a very normal thing for individuals' mental health.

Keep Reading... Show less

When it comes to wedding planning, each and every detail is customized to the style of the couple. From venue and decorations to food and beverages, nothing gets overlooked — whether your wedding is big, small, or virtual.

The same thing goes for invites, which are getting more and more beautiful every wedding season. If you're looking to customize your wedding invitations, the options are endless... you can add pictures if you wish, opt for fancy artwork, or keep it simple with just text).

Keep Reading... Show less

23 Burning Questions We Have For The Taureans In Our Lives, Answered By A Taurus

The remaining 11 signs took the bull by the horns, and it was a fun and insightful experience!

Jordyn Leach

Lately, I've been digging deeper into astrology and studying my sign. Throughout the journey, it's come to my attention that Taurus are probably one of the most complicated signs - that is, if you're not a Taurus.

To gain a little more perspective on how my sign is viewed by the others, I requested that the participants submit a question in response to the following:

Keep Reading... Show less
Universal Pictures

A music enthusiast like myself has a playlist for every mood. Life's a movie and you're the main character. In no specific order, listen to these songs to feel on top of the world!

Pro Tip: turn your crossfade up to 3 seconds for a seamless transition between each song!

Keep Reading... Show less

It's the most wonderful time of the year again — it's sorority recruitment season! While recruitment can be a fun and memorable experience, it can also take a toll on your mental health, especially this year, considering the special circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are a few reminders to keep in your mental health toolkit during recruitment week to help keep your mental health at bay during this unique experience.

Keep Reading... Show less

We've all been there. You see that super cute guy on your dating app of choice, his bio is funny, and then, the gut-wrenching feeling hits when you see their political views don't exactly line up with yours. He loves Trump, you can't stand him, or vice versa.

A lot of people will say you can get over politics, but I know from personal experience, as well as this survey, that politics play a huge role in whether a relationship will work or if we're even willing to swipe right on that profile.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments