Sunday, September 13, 2009

Serena Williams Channels Her Inner McEnroe

Controversy is afoot. For those of you who missed Saturday's U.S. Open, it got a little heated after a line judge made a call that ultimately led to Serena losing the game to Kim Clijsters. Sport's Illustrated reported the following:

Serena slams her racket after losing the first set, gets warned. Serena gets called for a foot fault on a second serve at 4-5, 15-30 in the second set, an unfortunate time but, to use the defending champion's favorite phrase, "It is what it is." If officials are supposed to overlook infractions based on the juncture of the match, we're on slippery terrain. (Aside: Doesn't the technology exist to challenge foot faults?)

Serena loses it and makes profane, vile and, worst of all, threatening remarks. True, she has a track record of getting the short end of some questionable calls, and this call was shaky. But threatening to stick "this [expletive] ball down your [expletive] throat" while berating a line judge is so far beyond the pale that it's not even worth discussing. This was, simply, indefensible. Serena cools down and seems to realize she hasn't crossed the line so much as she's bounded over it. She receives a point penalty and loses the match, the correct ruling. Game, set, match.

There was nothing much to dispute here. One e-mailer intimated that this was a racist conspiracy. Ridiculous. Others wondered if Serena should be suspended. Equally ridiculous.

I agree with Sports Illustrated on the "equally ridiculous" part. Let's keep things in perspective, people. After this asshole, in front of the entire world, publicly heckled the President of the United States during a formal Congressional address (an act which, by the way, had never occurred before ever in U.S. History), I don't wanna hear anybody say jack shit about suspending Serena Williams from Tennis for talking smack to some no-name line judge. Get serious.

Especially when Tennis has established the following precedent:

Did Serena Williams get a fair call here?
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