Serena is goat! Scapegoat.
There’s been considerable rumours floating around that Serena may face a two slam suspension for her “little” outburst.
Talk about an overkill. Let’s see: she’s received the maximum fine available at a grand slam. She’s been forced to apologize. She was dragged through the mud by the media, only too eager to jump on her actions as a sign of unsportsmanlike behaviour. And don’t get me wrong, it was exactly that.
What should’ve happened is that she should have been disqualified from the US Open doubles and stripped of her prize money there. That’s proportional punishment.
What should’ve also happened is that Serena should have issued a formal, contrite letter of apology straight after the incident. That’s proper damage control.
Of course, now the problem becomes that it’s too late for proportional punishment and too early to just let it go. From the moment the footfault was called, this incident has been a whole pile of wrong.
But even so, a 2-slam suspension is a massive overreaction. Yes. Serena swore at the lineswoman. She threatened US Open officials. Did anyone believe for a second that this was anything other than an empty threat made in the heat of the moment? It was ugly and reprehensible, but let’s not get too carried away and turn this into something it’s not.
What’s essentially being proposed in the Times article is that we make an example out of Serena. “See what happens when you don’t behave yourself?” Or as the Chinese would say, “kill the chicken to scare the monkey”.
Whatever that actually means.
I remember hearing Mary Carillo argue after the incident about how Serena needs to be suspended, “things like that give a bad rep to tennis…”
Oh puh-leez. Because without Serena, the general public would never think that tennis players are a bunch of cashed-up brats prone to the occasional tantrum?
Call me crass, but a bit of notoriety and controversy never hurt tennis. Nor any other sport. But I digress, this has nothing to do with impact and everything to do with blameworthiness.
Blameworthiness: only among Serena’s biggest haters would you find some sympathy for the idea that she should be suspended for 2 slams for the extent of her actions.
Not to mention a more pragmatic opposition, which you justice-seekers probably don’t want to hear about: women’s tennis at grand slams is a total shithouse without Williams in the draw.