Tennis Umpires Reportedly Consider Boycotting Serena Williams After US Open

After Serena Williams’ controversial loss in the U.S. Open women’s final, which led to a wave of criticisms and allegations of sexism, umpires are reportedly considering a boycott. 

On Saturday, Williams faced off against Japan’s Naomi Osaka, in what would be a historic win for the Haitian-Japanese tennis star. However, prior to the controversial, yet historical, ending, Williams got into it with umpire, Carlos Ramos. 

First, Ramos hit Williams with a warning for coaching, which forced Williams to defend herself against the cheating claims. After that, Williams received a point penalty for smashing her racket, which fueled even more tensions between the two. 

By the end of the match, Ramos imposed a game penalty for verbal abuse, after Williams called him a “thief” for the initial point penalty. 

The violations, which cost Williams a whopping $17,000 as well as the game, led to a firestorm of backlash against the umpire, as Williams claimed he would have never treated a male player in that way. In the meantime, many came to Williams’ defense, including the CEO of the Women’s Tennis Association, who said that his organization “believes that there should be no difference in the standards of tolerance provided to the emotions expressed by men vs. women,” and didn’t “believe” those actions were displayed during the match. 

According to the Washington Post, the U.S. Tennis Association also issued a statement of support for Williams, doubling down on her claims of a double standard in the umpires’ treatment toward male and female players. 

As the wave of support continued, a group of umpires banned together against Williams and those in support of her. In a report published by The Times of London, an anonymous official said that many felt Ramos wasn’t supported in his decision to simply do his job. As a result, many considered the idea of a Williams boycott, while others felt the need to form a union. 

“Umpires don’t have any independent means of representation and are employed by the governing bodies,” a source told The Guardian, according to the Post. “If talking to the media is not allowed, and governing bodies are speaking out against them, what are umpires supposed to do.” 

According to the publication, Umpires are not allowed to discuss specific matches, and in this instances, Williams was free to address the injustices of the U.S. Open after the match, which left umpires feeling attacked and unappreciated. 

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