“I despise you. You’re not only out of control, you’re a hater, and you’re just unattractive inside,”
As I wrote last year, one of the main reasons I started watching tennis as a kid was because of John McEnroe, the original bad boy of tennis. McEnroe’s outbursts were legendary. You knew the moment he hit that court that not only were you in for a hell of a match, but you could probably assume he’d lose his temper as well. McEnroe did every thing from curse, yell and break rackets. In his total career, he received over $91,000 worth of fines, which is nothing in comparison to the fines that Serena have already received. His larger than life attitude also became immortalized in various rap songs, as well as joke punchlines through out several Hollywood movies.
Granted the age of anonymous comments on blogs/news sites weren’t around in McEnroe’s era, but he definitely had his share of “haters” back then as well, but the amount of hate that is spewed online towards Serena Williams pales in comparison.
So far today, I’ve seen her being called:
…and those are the less harsh terms.
I think it’s a sad commentary on society’s views about black women in general. I understand everyone has a freedom of speech and opinion, but to discount the fact that Serena Williams is one of the greatest tennis players ever, to only negate her physical attributes is just ridiculous.
As of this afternoon, Serena Williams has been cited for verbal abuse and the USTA has fined her $2,000 for verbal abuse toward the umpire. Maybe the issue isn’t with Serena’s outbursts but with the archaic ideologies surrounding the rules of tennis. Imagine if you couldn’t express any type of emotion in football, hockey, baseball, basketball? They’d make for pretty boring games. Serena’s intensity and competitiveness is what has gotten her this far in tennis and it’s why she’ll remain a force to be reckoned with.