Let me get this straight. Women are not allowed to lose their temper on the tennis court, but it's accepted and even thought of as "cute" or "fierce" when a MAN does it? Oh, HELL no. Serena Williams has been made the athlete poster girl of bad behavior due to her outburst on the court, and frankly, I'm not having it.
With all the talk about "is civility dead" going on right now, I refuse to lump Serena Williams in with Kanye West or Ron Wilson. Totally. Different. Situations. I did a little research on the of the coyly nicknamed "Bad Boys" of tennis. Read for yourself.
Re: John McEnroe
"McEnroe played with a competitive fire and a fierce determination, traits that the public adores. But he also constantly argued and put down umpires and linesmen for what he perceived as bad calls.
"I know I can see the ball better than the officials," he said. "I can 'feel' when a ball is out or not. What's so frustrating is to know you're right and not be able to do anything about it."
and Re: Jimmy Connors
"While tennis fans enjoyed Connors' gritty style and his never-say-die attitude, they often were shocked by his antics. His sometimes vulgar on-court behavior -- like giving the finger to a linesman after disagreeing with a call -- did not help his approval rating. During the early part of his career, Connors frequently argued with umpires, linesmen, the players union, Davis Cup officials and other players."
Connors even called a line judged "an abortion" during one outburst. Jesus H. Nice one.
and via TIME Magazine :
"Jimmy was taught to be a tiger on the court," says his tigress mother. "When he was young, if I had a shot I could hit down his throat, I did. And I'd say, 'See, Jimmy, even your mother will do that to you.' "
Sigh. Serena lives in the internet and full-blown media era, whereas these "boys" only had instant replay. I don't believe they were totally mic'd the way athletes are today. I found an excerpt of Serena's apology. I guess women just can't get as passionate about their game as the "Bad Boys". How many of you out there (women) have lost your temper during a game of soccer, tennis or basketball?
Serena has been nothing but an admirable role-model to young women throughout her entire tennis career. NOW she has to apologize in a public way that the Boys didn't have to back in the day:
"Last night everyone could truly see the passion I have for my job. Now that I have had time to gain my composure, I can see that while I don't agree with the unfair line call, in the heat of battle I let my passion and emotion get the better of me and as a result handled the situation poorly. I would like to thank my fans and supporters for understanding that I am human and I look forward to continuing the journey, both professionally and personally, with you all as I move forward and grow from this experience."
- Serena Williams