Tennis Umpires Reportedly Discuss Boycotting Serena Williams' Matches
Williams standing up to sexism is creating a fear of culture change.
As a Black woman, and tennis superstar, Serena Williams has experienced racism and sexism in her profession, repeatedly. And now, umpires may collectively come against her for calling out sexism and boycott her matches.
Williams dared to question chair umpire Carlos Ramos' issuing code violations during her US Open match on Saturday against Naomi Osaka, and accused him of sexism when given a game penalty after calling him a "thief" for taking away a point. Williams argued that male players have said worse to umpires without penalty.
Umpires are reportedly discussing a boycott because of what they feel is a lack of support for Ramos by tennis associations.
An anonymous source told The Times of London that there was a growing consensus that the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) did not support umpires, and Ramos was "'thrown to the wolves for simply doing his job and was not willing to be abused for it.'"
WTA CEO Steve Simon said, in a statement, on Sunday the association "believes there should be no difference in the standards of tolerance provided to the emotions expressed by men vs. women, and is committed to working with the sport to ensure that all players are treated the same."
This, apparently, has umpires feeling "abandoned."
"The umpiring fraternity is thoroughly disturbed at being abandoned by the WTA," Richard Ings, a retired elite Gold Badge umpire told ESPN.com on Tuesday. "They are all fearful that they could be the next Ramos. They feel that no one has their back when they have to make unpopular calls."
They are fearful to be the next Ramos?
The International Tennis Federation (ITF), Ramos' employer, publicly backed him on Monday. He will return to the umpire's chair for this weekend's Davis Cup clash between Croatia and the U.S.
What they fear is culture change in the sport.
"I just feel like the fact that I have to go through this is just an example for the next person that has emotions and that want to express themselves and want to be a strong woman," Williams said on Saturday.
"They're going to be allowed to do that because of today. Maybe it didn't work out for me, but it's going to work out for the next person."
She incurred a total of three code violations on Saturday for alleged on-court coaching, smashing her racket, and "verbal abuse." The US Open fined her a total of $17,000.
And she's also been the subject of a racist cartoon and banter.
USTA has backed Williams' claims of sexism after she was given a game penalty. The CEO of the USTA, Katrina Adams, said in a statement that she supports her, and there is a double standard in tennis.
"In my opinion, right now, yes, and it probably always has been," Adams said on "CBS This Morning" Tuesday.
Former world No. 1 player Billie Jean King said, in a column last week, that she believes Ramos treated Williams differently than male players have been treated.
Both James Blake and Andy Roddick tweeted that they've said worse things to umpires, but were not penalized.
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The indictment became based on a hate crime as Gregory Bush murdered two people because of their "actual and perceived race and color."
Judge revoked $5M bail, and instead held Sam Woodward without bail citing he's a danger to the community.
Samuel Woodward, age 21, stabbed Blaze Bernstein, age 19, a University of Pennsylvania student, 20 times in a park in January after luring him out on the premise that it was a date. In September, he was charged with murder and a hate crime, and DNA evidence was cited as proof on a knife and bloody sleeping bag.
"This will affect my son forever," said Brennan Walker's mother.
After a jury convicted Jeffrey Ziegler last month of assault with intent to do bodily harm and a felony firearm count for shooting at a Black teen in Rochester Hills, Mich., he was sentenced to four to 10 years in prison.
On Tuesday, Ziegler appeared in front of a judge at the Oakland County court, who sentenced him to a minimum of two years for each charge. The original charge, assault with intent to murder, would've carried a life sentence. Now he'll be eligible for parole after four years.
Meanwhile, Lisa Wright, mother of Brennan Walker, the victim, said her son is in therapy indefinitely.
"This will affect my son forever," she said.
"He almost took the life of another human being," assistant prosecutor Kelly Collins said. "That will forever stay with Brennan — forever. His perception of strangers, his perception of other people, his perception of the world."
Jeffrey Zeigler apologized before he was sentenced Tuesday in Oakland County court, and apologized to Wright, saying, "I have full remorse and regret and I wish I could change something, but we can't go back in time."
She doesn't believe him. She told the judge she thinks Ziegler is sad because of the media attention.
As he was escorted out of the courtroom, Zeigler smiled and waved at his wife, and friends and relatives shouted, "We love you, Jeff."
Ziegler and his wife clearly reacted to the teen's race in the April 12 shooting. Ziegler referred to Walker in an interview with a sheriff's deputy after the shooting as "that colored kid" at his front door; and his wife's report to the police was, "A Black male was trying to break into her house and her husband chased after him into the yard."
Ziegler lied and said he tripped and that's what caused his gun to fire, when his own home security system video showed him pausing, taking aim and firing at the fleeing teen.
Walker, then age 14, had missed his bus to school that morning and came to the Zeigler's door for help. After his wife screamed, Zeigler fired a shotgun at the teen, but missed him.
"I was scared," Walker had testified in October. "I was trying to tell them that I was trying to get to high school, but they weren't listening."
Walker had literally run for his life. "I turned back and I saw him aiming at me... I was trying to run away faster and I heard a gunshot," he said on the stand.
Zeigler's attorney Robert Morad, who said his client suffers from PTSD and injuries from being a Detroit firefighter for 23 years, said outside the courtroom,"We will be discussing a possible appeal."
Meanwhile, Walker and his family don't leave the house much anymore. "We moved to Rochester Hills to live in a better place, a safe place," Wright said. "But, when a safer place doesn't want you there, I don't know how to process that."
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"When you look at the clip, is that inappropriate touching? We know when someone is accused of assault, that's a very loaded word," said Whoopi Goldberg.
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For her actions, Wendy Bies spent the night behind bars.
Wendy Bies, a 53-year-old white woman, walked into the Gallatin County Courthouse looking for a ballot; she walked out of the courthouse with a criminal record.
How did this trade happen? She saw Brian Mango waiting in line to vote in the Montana's battleground U.S. Senate and congressional campaigns on Tuesday, and told the 22-year-old, "Go back where you came from."
"Do you know why mom is here? Because Americans bombed her country," Mango said of his mother, a refugee from Laos.
"Do you know why my dad's here? Because they brought his ancestors here in chains," he said of his father, who is Black.
Bies replied with ridicule, "They wanted to come to America to get out of that f*cking a**-hole city. So don't you tell me this is not where you want to be."
Realizing that she may have started something she could not get out of, Bies bellowed, "You are not going to stop me from voting. We need a civil order to separate us."
Mango said Bies began making racial comments after she told him he had a "cute butt."
Footage was captured by Tennison Big Day, a Native American, who was behind the two of them in line. Big Day told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle he heard Bies claim that it was President Trump who gave Mango his voting rights.
Bies spent the rest of election night in Gallatin County jail after being arrested on charges of obstructing a police officer and disorderly conduct. She pleaded not guilty and remained jailed on $500 bail Wednesday afternoon.
See the video:
Election Day arrest at Gallatin County Courthouse youtu.be
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