Friday April 19, 2019
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Serena Williams can be a ghastly role model for all young female athletes and has “form”

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- Tom Winnifrith

A few years ago Serena threatened to stuff a tennis ball down the throat of a female line judge who had made a call she disagreed with. Yesterday she smashed her racket and abused the umpire with words that were defamatory and in the end got fined a piffling amount. She then said #Metoo – that is to say this was all sexism as male athletes could get away with worse. This ensured that her match will not be remembered for a glorious victory for underdog Naomi Osaka as she became the first ever Japanese to win a Major – but for Williams and her revolting tantrum.

The only shock is that she did not accuse the poor umpire, who earns a fraction of what she earns and is hugely respected for his professionalism, of racism as well as sexism.

The fact is that Williams behaved disgracefully and this is not the first time. In many ways she can be a great role model for young female athletes but she has a bad side – her temper. Her behaviour yesterday was that of a spoiled brat and she was no role model for anyone. For this multi millionaires to try to play the sexism card as she ruined the win of Ms Osaka is offensive to females across the world who suffer real privation and discrimination.

Williams disqualifies herself as a role model by her actions. Had my daughter behaved as she did on and off court yesterday I would be thoroughly ashamed of her. The tragedy is that the more Serena protests the more a truly great sportswoman will be diminished in the eyes of many.


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