- A group of umpires are reportedly considering boycott action against Serena Williams, according to an anonymous source in The Times.
- Umpires are allegedly unhappy about Williams’ treatment of Carlos Ramos, the 2018 US Open women’s final umpire, during and after the match.
- Williams called Ramos a “liar” and a “thief” on court, for which she was punished, and accused him of sexism in a post-match press conference.
- The source said Ramos was “thrown to the wolves.”
- Umpires could refuse to accept the chair when Williams competes, but would call off the possible protest if Williams apologizes for her remarks.
Umpires are reportedly considering a boycott of Serena Williams’ future tennis matches, according to an anonymous source in The Times.
The plan under consideration to refuse the chair when Williams competes is seemingly a direct response to the treatment Carlos Ramos received for slapping Williams with three code violations during the American’s 2-6, 4-6 US Open final loss to Naomi Osaka on September 8.
The first violation was for coaching, which Williams argued against. “I don’t cheat to win. I’d rather lose,” she said. Williams was later given a violation for smashing her racket, costing her a point. Her third violation, for calling the umpire Carlos Ramos a “thief,” cost her a game.
At the press conference after the match, Williams said that the umpire’s sanctions were an act of sexism, according to CNN. “I’m here fighting for women’s rights and for women’s equality. … For me to say ‘thief’ and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark.”
She added: “He’s never taken a game from a man because they said ‘thief.’ For me, it blows my mind. But I’m going to continue to fight for women.”
Williams’ accusation of sexism has been backed by the Women’s Tennis Association and the United States Tennis Association. This has seemingly upset a core group of umpires, according to The Times.
The anonymous source believes they have not been supported by the USTA on multiple occasions, saying that Ramos was “thrown to the wolves for simply doing his job and was not willing to be abused for it.”
According to the source, umpires are reportedly discussing the option of refusing match assignments that involve Williams until she apologizes to Ramos for calling him a “liar” and “thief.”
Ramos has received support from the International Tennis Federation. He acted “at all times with professionalism and integrity” during Saturday’s showdown, the ITF said in a statement on BBC. “Ramos undertook his duties as an official according to the relevant rule book,” it added.
Williams was fined $US17,000, which was deducted from her prize money of $US1.85 million as the tournament’s runner-up. Ramos, meanwhile, was paid £370 ($US480) as a “standard daily rate” for umpiring, The Times reported.
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