LeBron James empathizes with Serena Williams in wake of US Open outburst

Serena Williams and Roger Federer in Melbourne

Two very talented African-American women - Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka - went out to play a game of tennis in the recent U.S. Open final.

Williams was penalized for arguing repeatedly with a male umpire during the final. Williams stamped a "liar" and "thief" label on Ramos.

Osaka broke Serena's serve in the second set, then Williams broke her racquet by smashing it into the hard court of Arthur Ashe Stadium in NY.

Serena has fought against racism and sexism in her sport and those battles have come from the high ground since everyone recognises those things as forms of prejudice. The UP women's tennis team's head coach and two players joined in on the conversation to give some insights into what exactly happened, they're reactions to the controversy and how the media has covered it.

Owens, rated as one of the top referees in the world, weighed in on the Serena Williams outburst in a column for the Wales Online. But I never thought that I would see a similar situation on the stage for the trophy ceremony of the US Open. A second violation resulted in a lost point.

With his actions, Ramos not only took away Williams' chances of winning, but he also destroyed what should have been a joyous moment for Osaka, who won her first Grand Slam title and became the first person from Japan to achieve that feat.


In tennis, a first violation no matter the reason is always a warning. Attacking an umpire's integrity, calling him a thief and a liar for doing his job, is a odd way of showing your daughter that you "stand up for what's right". That's why I see it as our responsibility to stand up for Serena even as we celebrate another young black woman being the victor from the chaos. Yes, Ramos could have politely warned Williams that she would lose the match if she got another violation, but for this argument, minor umpire duties are unimportant. She has never been afraid to chew out an umpire for a call she deemed incorrect or smash her racquet after a loss. Tennis icon Billie Jean King defended Williams, saying that the umpire was wrong for issuing the violation and that she was dealt a double standard. The match turned out to be one of the weird finals in the tennis history.

This is when Osaka said she focused the most.

Her claim may be true; but even if it is, it doesn't justify her behaviour.

While men can say what they want, wear what they want and act however they want, women in tennis are subject to the confines of a box delineating "proper" ladylike behavior. Upon reentering the court, she realized her shirt was on backwards and proceeded to take it off so that she could turn it around.

With hindsight, suppose McEnroe had said that Williams was more dominant among women players than any man was among male players.

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