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Friday, September 14, 2018

Serena Williams, Anything, But A Role Model !

     At the age of 12, I began playing USTA sanctioned tennis tournaments. At the age of 12, I was almost forced into early retirement. I was almost forced to retire, due to my unsportsmanlike conduct in one of my first tournaments. Somehow, as a 12 year old, I got the bright idea that it was "cool" to throw a temper tantrum on court when losing. Yes, I thought I was quite the hotshot throwing and hitting my tennis rackets into the court each time I lost a point. I did this, knowing I could be penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct. I knew I could be penalized, and I didn't care. Lucky for me, I was not penalized by the tournament officials. However, I wasn't so lucky when it came to my parents. My parents were thoroughly disgusted. After watching their daughter bang the racquets they'd bought yours truly, they'd had it. Not to mention that I'd  lost a match to someone whom I should have beaten due to spending more energy on slamming my racquets than energy spent on playing the match.  My parents said, "enough". Very quickly after the match I had lost due to being a little  spoiled brat, I was informed, that if I ever threw or slammed my racquets again, my tennis career would be over. "No more racquets, no more lessons, no more fancy tennis clothes, and no more tennis tournaments". Looking back, I can't say I blame them, and it was the best thing that they could have done. It was the best thing they could have done for my character and the best thing they could have done for my game. It was the best thing, as my parents taught me how to be sportsmanlike, have proper etiquette,  how to be a lady, how to be mature, how to have class, and how to have dignity. Clearly, Serena Williams was never taught the lesson my parents taught me. Most of all, my parents also taught me how to be a gracious loser, something Serena Williams never has been.

   After that tournament where I'd been oh so cool, I made it my mission to actually be "cool". I accomplished this by emulating a player whom I had idolized, Chris Evert. Chris Evert, better known as the "Ice Princess", or "Ice Maiden". At the time of my growing up, Chris Evert represented everything a young girl playing tennis wanted to be. Chris Evert might as well have been a real Princess. She was cool, she was calm, she was poised, she was intense, she was unflappable, she was emotionless. Chris Evert was a lady. Chris Evert's on court demeanor was something of perfection. I tried my best to imitate her and I came pretty close. I could be down in a match 0-6, 2-5 and win in the third set . Three set matches were pretty routine for me. I may not have ever made it to number one in the world, but I was completely inexpressive in my matches. Nothing ever phased me, and if it did, I certainly never showed it, and I was better for it. Had Serena attempted to be more like Chris Evert, perhaps she'd be better for it as well. She'd certainly been a better role model for her daughter. I don't think any woman would have held Serena Williams up as a role model after her infamous loss to Naomi Osaka at the 2018 U.S. Open.

   Bottom line, Serena Williams is not a role model for any child. To put it bluntly, Serena is nothing more than a sore loser. Serena has played over 100 U.S. Open matches and in three matches, she threw temper tantrums yelling at officials. In those 3 matches, Serena was losing every one of them. Unlike past champions who lose, pay their opponent a compliment and say, "it wasn't my day", Serena instead always makes excuses for her losses and or throws temper tantrums. Serena got everything she deserved in the final of the U.S. Open. She wasn't wronged, because she was a woman, and she wasn't wronged, because she was Black. She was legitimately penalized for her unsportsmanlike conduct. Through the years Serena has gotten away with her various antics due to her status as a top player, and Umpire Carlos Ramos wasn't afraid to stand up to Serena. For that he should be applauded. 

     Yes, it's true some men have gotten away with saying and doing far worse than Serena. So too has Serena in the past. The fact of the matter was, her coach was coaching, and he admitted it. So much for Serena's argument that she doesn't cheat. It's rather amusing that Serena demanded an apology from Umpire Carlos Ramos when she knew darn well that her coach was signaling and coaching. I guess not only is Serena guilty of  unsportsmanlike behavior, she's also a liar. In trying to may a plea for the allowance of players having emotions and coaching being legalized in tennis, her coach proved his player was a liar. I find it interesting that Serena's coach found Serena's acting like a madwoman acceptable. While Billie Jean King and other various commentators played the woman card and claimed that men had done far worse I have to ask, does it make it right? The truth is, many men have been penalized as well for their outbursts. Many men have also gotten away with it. The bad boy of tennis from years past, John McEnroe, was even defaulted for his behavior in a match. The bottom line, unsportsmanlike behavior is simply unacceptable. Further more, women are held at a higher standard than men as they should be. Why? We're better than behaving like a bunch of uncivilized lunatics. If tennis allows women to behave as Serena did in the women's final where does it stop?Will tennis soon become like hockey and football? Will spectators bare witness to Serena punching, slapping, or kicking her opponent? Frankly, I don't  think the fans of tennis care to watch linebackers in tutus having temper tantrums. I know I certainly don't. No, tennis fans want to see professional tennis players act professional and show their craft, not show their inability to control one's temper.
(c)Sean Bianca GOP GIRL 2018 
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