When John McEnroe recoils at Venus Williams’ behavior, you know someone really uncorked it.
Men don’t have the right to break rules without repercussion. John McEnroe was getting penalized for his nasty behavior in 1981. Jeff Tarango was banned from Wimbledon for abusing an umpire in 1995. Now Williams lost a match because of her penalizations for her abusive behavior. She’s joining a club filled with men who have suffered as she did for similar behavior.
The “rights” Williams is fighting for seem to be the ability to be free from the same rules men have to follow in order to be equal with them. That’s not equality, that’s asking for special treatment.
Yet we’re being lead to believe that Williams is bravely standing up against an unfair system of men that punishes women unjustly. While there are a few ridiculous calls out there made against women in the past (Alizé Cornet’s code violation for fixing her shirt while men are known to go topless on the court being a glaring one) what Williams did was childish, abusive, and just plain mean. Not only did it paint an innocent man doing his job as a villain, her attitude stole a moment of pure glory away from another woman who even looked up to her.
And it’s not as if Williams hasn’t been down this road before. In 2009, Williams lost a match after having a point deducted after she abused an umpire, and that umpire was a female. This entire debacle isn’t a story of Williams facing sexism, it’s a story of Williams lack of control over her temper.
And, from what I’ve seen, about a lot of middle-aged women who are upset thatthe “powerful middle-aged woman on her inexorable comeback” narrative has been sidelined.