Serena Williams lost the US Open in stunning circumstances this morning, calling the umpire out for gender bias and sexism.
After she was accused of a code violation for coaching, Williams threw her racquet on the ground in protest and was docked a point. But she wasn’t giving up without a fight; making the point that hundreds of men have protested in the same way and never faced consequences. (We’re looking at you Nick Kyrgios).
“I didn’t get coaching. You need to make an announcement that I don’t cheat. You owe me an apology,” she told umpire, Carlos Ramos.
“Are you kidding me? You will never, ever, ever be on another court of mine as long as you live. You are the liar. When are you going to give me my apology? You owe me an apology. Say it. Say you’re sorry. … And you stole a point from me. You’re a thief, too!”
“I have never cheated in my life. I have a daughter and I stand for what’s right for her. I have never cheated,” she added.
When Williams then continued to call for the support of supervisors, demanding an apology, she was docked–in unprecedented terms–an entire game. The decision arguably cost her the match.
“This has happened to me before. This is not fair. There are a lot of men out here who have said a lot of things and do not get that punishment, because I’m a woman you’re going to take this away from me. That’s not right. That is not right.”
Through tears Williams still managed to win the next point but subsequently lost the match 6-2, 6-4 to Japan’s Naomi Osaka shortly after. Both women tearily embraced at the net.
“I’m sorry everyone was cheering for her and I’m sorry it had to end like this,” Osaka heartbreakingly declared during her winner’s speech. “It was always my dream to play Serena.”
Williams said she wasn’t prepared to take questions during her concession speech. She thanked the crowd but implored them to stay positive. “She played well and this is her first Grand Slam,” she said in support of Osaka. “Let’s just get through this. Be positive, let’s stop the booing.” she said.
Later in the press conference, Williams conceded that she didn’t know how she was feeling and hadn’t “had time to really process yet.” She said that while she’d never had problems with Carlos Ramos’ umpiring before, she remained proud of her conduct. “I stood up for what I believe in and I stood up for what is right.”
“I’ve seen other men call other umpires several things and I’m here fighting for women’s rights and for women’s equality,” she said.