During the championship game of the 2018 US Open, Serena Williams was accused of coaching by umpire Carlos Ramos. Ramos spotted her trainer, Patrick Mouratoglou giving her hand signals during the match. Afterwards, Williams let her emotions get the best of her as she struck the net and smashed her racket on the court. For her actions she received her second violation and a point penalty was awarded. Her third violation and game penalty followed shortly after when she accused Ramos of being a thief for stealing a point from her. Williams disagreed with the first violation, claiming she never cheated and that the situation would have been handled differently if she were a man. Mouratoglou later admitted to coaching in an interview with ESPN and said that coaching is commonly violated.
Umpires don’t seem to be strict when it comes to the violation so it is possible that the umpire targeted Williams because of her gender, or race, or maybe he was just doing his job. Even though she may have been wrong, Williams created more exposure for women in sports. Gender equality has made a lot of progress over the years, but there is still room for improvement. The athletes’ incomes, media coverage and television exposures aren’t nearly balanced between genders. Women are less likely to have leadership roles because, according to stereotypes, men are more cut for the job. Why is it that muscularity is deemed more of a masculine trait? Girls are worried about their appearance because they don’t look the way the media portrays women. By stereotyping we’re putting the wrong message in the heads of children all around the world. We support our women athletes when they’re playing for our country, but we forget about them afterwards. The issue starts with us; how we choose to stereotype athletes will have an effect on the future of sports. Whether it’s women or men athletes, it’s still the same competitive, skillful, and exciting game we love.
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