Saturday, September 19, 2009

Serena Williams

Serena Williams’ behavior at the semi final of the U.S. Open brings disgrace to the entire sports community. Almost at the match point, a lineswoman called foot fault. Serena was so incensed that she began a tirade against that woman.

According to CBS, approaching the lineswoman who made the call, Serena said “I’m going to shove this (bad word) ball down your (bad word) throat”. A review of the tape showed that Serena did not make a foot fault. However, her behavior cannot be excused. Even Mr. Nice Guy John McEnroe said that was too much. A tennis player with a star status, Billie Jean King criticized Serena.

It does not matter what the circumstances are. No player should be allowed to engage in this type of behavior and not face the consequences. This includes some cricket players also.

I am not saying questioning the umpire is wrong. The limit should not be crossed. Many professional American baseball coaches argue with the umpires. The most famous for this was the late Billy Martin. He was the coach, at different times, for Oakland A’s and New York Yankees. He said once: I do not go and argue with the umpire thinking he will change his decision. I argue with him so that next time he wants to call against my team, he will think twice. I also never use any foul language.

Serena did not argue with that lineswoman. She made a verbal assault. What did the tennis association do? They fined Serena $10,000. This is nothing for her. What they should do is to ban her from professional tennis for at least one year. That will send a message to all those unruly players.

Some call questioning a decision of the umpire shows a determination. We all should have the determination to win. But verbal assault is not a sign of determination to win.

Also some athletes loathe opponent’s victory. Here is a page from the history book.

4th test match India vs. New Zealand at Feroz Shah Kotla ground in New Delhi which began on March 19, 1965. On the last day, almost at the closing time, India started to bat for the second innings. India needed 70 runs to win. After about a few overs, the drinks came on to the field. This is a good chance for the New Zealanders to “waste” precious time and thus end the test in a draw. Do you know what the New Zealand Captain John Reid did? He told the drinks people to get off the field and continued the match without a drinks break. India won by 7 wickets. New Zealand 262 and 272. India 465/8 declared and 73/3. John Reid wanted to fight the Indians till the last ball is bowled but in an honorable way. He should be a role model for other cricketers.

For those who are interested, here are some more details of that test. Venkatragavan took 12 wickets (8 in the first innings and 4 in the second innings). Nawab of Pataudi and Dilip Sardesai hit centuries in the first innings. The winning run was hit by Dilip Sardesai.

The End.


  1. one year ban lam romba jasti.. she must already be disappointed after losing the US open.. y add fuel to the fire?? n plus since she is black(no offence or racism).. using a lot of bad words in normal coz of the rap culture..may be some other strict rules..

  2. Thanks for your comments Vishnu. I personally would prefer a life time ban. Using a lot of bad words is normal in their rap culture? If so, is it ok to use those words? She should be a role model for other poor black kids.

    If it is normal in their culture, can President Obama speak like that to any world leader he disagrees with? He is also black.

  3. Serena Williams outburst was completely uncalled for.
    It was the wrong thing to do, at the wrong time, at the wrong place.

    Kanye West

  4. Serena is a fierce competitor and was already on the verge of losing the match.
    The line judge made a huge mistake by making that call (especially with the game on the line)
    and Serena should have said something...which she did.
    Unfortunately Serena also made a huge mistake and was excessive with her words.

    Regarding New Zealand Captain John Reid - what he did is one of the classiest moves in the
    history of sports. Unfortunately the mentality of players, coaches, and teams is that you must win at all costs.

    Here are a couple of other honorable people in American sports.

    During the early part of the 20th century Christy Mathewson, a baseball pitcher, was so famous
    for his honesty that when umpires were unsure about certain close calls in the game, they would look to Christy for his opinion.

    In 1976, the Oakland Raiders (American Football) had the best record in Football but in prior
    years they fell victim to their arch-rival the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs.
    In the 13th week of the season, if Oakland beats Cincinnati, Pittsburgh will go to the playoffs.
    If Oakland loses to Cincinnati, then Pittsburgh will NOT go to the playoffs.

    Oakland's Head Coach John Madden (and the team) said that they will NOT play and lose intentionally
    so they can face easier matchups in the playoffs.
    They destroyed Cincinnati and faced Pittsburgh in the playoffs again - this time the Oakland Raiders defeated Pittsburgh en route to winning the Super Bowl.

    Lastly, you've heard the phrase many times in your life -
    It's not whether you win or lose, but it's how you play the game.

    To that Vince Loambardi (American Football Coach) said -
    If winning and losing doesn't matter, then why the hell are we keeping track of the score?
    Winning isn't everything, it's the ONLY THING.
    Vince would've chewed out the line judge as well.

  5. WTF was that comment VISHNU?September 19, 2009 at 8:43 PM

    Did you say that Serena is disappointed that she lost so why add fuel to the fire?
    Who gives a F@#K if she's disappointed. If you cuss someone out like that then you should receive a suspension.
    I'm with SG on this one. The Association of Tennis Players completely wimped out.
    $10,000 is a joke. She gives that much in tips over a 3 day weekend.

    Can I verbally assault someone at my job the way she did at her job?
    Can you do this at your job? Or your school?
    Then why does Serena get away with a slap on the wrist?

    Did you also say that she is black and using a lot of bad words is normal because of rap culture?
    Ok, let's put racism and getting offended to the side since you already addressed that.
    But you are ignorant for saying that.

    So by your logic if Maria Sharapova did the same thing does she get a tougher penalty because she is not black
    and isn't into rap culture...and therefore not a "normal" thing for her to do?

    Are all black people into rap culture or are you stereotyping?
    I guess no one ever used foul language prior to rap music being invented.

    In fact, let's go one step further and say that Rap culture brought all of the bad things into this world.
    There was no killing, drug dealing, prostitution, and foul language before the first rap song ever came out.

  6. Thanks for your comments Kanye. If we have to give you any award, it should be for accepting, by storming on the stage, awards meant for other people.

  7. Thanks for your comments. John Reid was a classy guy.

    Aaahhh, John Madden. We love him. He has a couple of wineries near our home in Livermore, Ca. We go there often for wine tasting and buy Merlot.

    Aaahhh, Vince Lombardi, the great. I have to mock here the debate between Lloyd Bentsen and Dan Qayle in 1988. Mr. Cageybee, I served with Vince Lombardi, I knew Vince Lombardi, Vince Lombardi was a friend of mine. But my friend Vince never used foul language nor made any verbal assault against an umpire.

  8. Cool down Mr. MTF. I understand what you are saying. I am with you. Here, I want to remind what another black tennis player Arthur Ashe said: All the black kids want to become a basket ball player or (American) foot ball player. How come none of thse kids want to own a professional basket ball team or a foot ball team and give salaries to these players. Sad. By the way Arthur was soft spoken and never used any bad or harsh words. The U.S. Open tennis arena in New York is named after him.

  9. hm, i sw what she did on the field and that was completely uncalled for...but a ban would definitely have led to the racism issue, few more controversies and then everyone would have forgotten about it...why not to have a rule book where such things are mentioned beforehand about the punishments for certain acts...

  10. Thanks for your comments Neha. I agree with you that the punishment for these types of acts must be in writing and informed to these players before hand. But will they do it? No they won’t.

    I agree with you on the “racism issue”. It is one-sided. In the U.S. Congress (Parliament) they can have a “Black Caucus”. But if they have a “White Caucus”, it will be called racist.

    The only person who fought and won was Allan Bakke. Being a famous lawyer, I am sure you are aware of who he is.

  11. Apt thoughts SG.

    A tougher punishment to one would make other players with such temper to think twice before behaving in such an unruly manner.

  12. Just because Ms Serena was 'already' disappointed, this is not a reason to excuse her behavior.

    Being black doesn't give them the constitutional rights to use swear words against anyone anywhere. A famous personality like her should set an example to others from her community.

  13. is carrying things a bit too far to say that using expletives is common among African-Americans.
    These days a lot of people(especially teens) even in India resort to using the F-word almost like a punctuation mark. Every sentence that they speak is full of swear words.

  14. There is a lot of money involved in sports - and the spirit of the game is forgotten in the quest for money. Also, the pressure on the players to perform - mostly because of the endorsements, the fear that contracts will be cancelled - is probably what makes the player resort to gamesmanship and frayed tempers.

  15. The behavior of Serena has really insulted this lovely high esteemed sport. Greats like John McEnroe used to argue but never did he cross his limits...what she did was unacceptable. Imagine what kind of message goes to the kids watching this...she is an icon.

    I never knew about the John Reid story was great to know about that Test Match. cricket History is always exciting and always leaves u something to think about.

    n ya congrats 4 the award!!!

  16. Thanks for your comments Insignia. As you said, famous sportsmen and sportswomen should be a role model for kids.

  17. Thanks for your comments Jayashree.
    Youngsters learn these from sportspeople. Is it not recently a cricket (when accsed of calling opposite team player "monkey") player said that he called him "something mother" in his native language?

  18. Thanks for your comments Radha. The spirit of the game is forgotten.

  19. Thanks for your comments Nazish. Serena should have been more responsible in her behaviour.

    John Reid is a classy cricket player.

    Thanks again Nazish for your congratulations.

  20. first of all.. i knew tht every1 will be supporting SG in this ban.. personally am a fan of the sisters.. so a lil support talk on their side has jus steered up this long comments section.. i'll try answering em all..

    @sg.. plz dont compare serena and obama.. a sportstar and a president are totally different.. a president cannot use offensive language in any means..

    @the anonymous commentator "wtf was tht comment vishnu"or mtf..

    u urself used offensive language.. its like part of us nw.. wenever u r angry a few bad words jus slip outta ur mouth.. jus human instincts..
    n plus it was the match point n it was not a foot fault too.. u r bound to get pissed off..
    its not only tennis.. but also other sports which involve these kinda outbursts at the referee.. take football for example.. a sport in which i think the rules of the game are fully defined.. the maximum a referee can do about dissent or foul words is tht he can give a yellow card.. else if the fifa finds it out to be very offensive then maybe a 3 match ban.. thts all u can expect.. showin ur emotions is called attitude in sports.. n it shd be present for the game to be spiced up..

    am not gonna say anythin about the racism..

    rap music was not started by african americans.. it has its roots way b4.. n jus bcoz some rappers were like that.. u cant put the blame.. jus over exaggeration with sharapova..

  21. I dont understand why today we find it common among the youth to be agrgressive at the slightest provocation and use abusive language.....I mean can never use foul language, doesnt mean I dont get furious:)...really marvel at the girls who use these expletives and think that they have progressed, become modern and equal to boys... for that we never allow even boys in our family to use that language....

  22. WTF Vishnu - Me againSeptember 21, 2009 at 1:16 AM

    You know I didn't want to make this a back and forth thing between you and me on this blog but I do have to comment once again.

    First - why can't SG compare Serena and Obama?
    You're the one who opened up that line of thinking.
    You're the one who started off by saying (paraphrased) -
    Serena is black and using a lot of bad words is normal because of the rap culture.

    Did you say she is black and other things? No, you just gave a general blanket statement that she is black. That's it. Very general.
    So SG came back with; can Obama do that? Another general question (rhetorical) back at you.

    What makes it right for one BLACK person but not another? Because you are fan of Serena, it's ok? Not a good enough answer.
    You said Obama is a politican and Serena is a sports star - but earlier you said it was BLACK and rap culture.
    What if Obama cusses someone out and then comes back with; yeah but I'm a huge fan of Snoop and C-Murder so let me go for my words.
    No way. Double standards don't fly here homeboy. What's wrong for one is wrong for the other.

    Next you said; I myself used foul language and it's just human instincts.
    Yes, that's true but what does my language have to do with anything? There is a time and place for everything.
    I can use foul language what. But at the US Open, to a judge? Umm no sir, that is not acceptable under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.
    Serena messed up...badly and she knows it. The judge was also wrong for the call but didn't deserve Serena's barrage.
    And don't give me that human instincts line of logic. That outburst could have been controlled. There is a time and place for everything.
    Serena - wrong place, wrong time, wrong words. A triple whammy.

    I have a human instinct to go poop everyday. But if I poop on center court at the US Open because I just couldn't hold down my bean burrito
    can I get a free pass? Of course not! Even if it is accepted by Biggie Smalls and the Two Live Crew.
    Like I said, there is a time and place for everything.

    Third: Rap Music was not started by African Americans.
    Oh my forking goodness. This should be good. Who started it then; the Chinese?
    How old are you son? Have you ever been outside of India before?
    Let me tell you about Rap Music. It started long before Eminem and Jay Z.
    It was started in the South Bronx around 1976 or so. It took until 1980 before it made to Queens which is in the same city (New York City) but a different borough.
    And sorry to surprise you but yes, it was African Americans who started it. Trust me - because I met those guys in person before.
    I can even tell you which housing projects (ghettos) it started in.
    You could make a case for Jamaicans but even those guys were in the Bronx.

    And please don't give me that redneck Jeff Foxworthy crap: Square Dance music is the original rap music.
    No it's not. No one will ever confuse the two. Rap Music was there before Blondie's song Rapture and the
    Sugarhill Gang's song Rappers Delight.
    Don't test me on this one - because I know the real deal.

    Lastly, you gave a quickie 1 liner about Maria Sharapova but you didn't really say anything?
    Based on your "BLACK and RAP CULTURE" logic if Maria Sharapova did the same thing,
    does she deserve a harsher penalty because she is not black or isn't into the rap culture?
    That seems to be the pass that you are giving Serena Williams...and you are sticking with your guns on that.

    Anyways, like I said in the beginning - I'm going to move on and not go back and forth anymore on this topic with you.
    I don't know who you are on a personal level; so this is not a personal attack.
    Just wanted to share my $.02.

  23. Thanks for your comments Vishnu.

  24. Thanks for your comments Antarman. And, welcome to my blog. As you said, there is no need to use vulgar languages under any circumstances.

  25. Thanks for your comments WTF Vishnu Me Again. As you said, if there is a rule it should be for all. Just one small unsolicited advice for you. Please don't be shy. Say what you think. ha ha ha.

    You know so much about blacks and rap music. Were you born in East Oakland? I am sure you must have met MC Hammer.

  26. Hello SG,
    This is the first time I am visiting you blog after Bindu's suggestion. I really like your post and have the same opinion. Some people are comparing tennis to other games saying that if swearing in football is not taken so seriously, why should it be a problem in tennis. But just because one game has gone out of control does not necessarily mean that moral sanity should me lost in other sports too, right? Tennis has been a game of class and flows ever so smoothly. The pride of tennis has not only been that it is such a wonderful game, but is also a game of gentlemen. (I wish I could use a more unchauvinistic word, but my vocabulary is not really that broad, and I hope you get what I am saying. :-p By the way I don't think there is a word called unchauvinistic. :-p)

  27. Thanks for your comments Gautam. And, welcome to my blog. I completely agree with you. Tennis is a game of gentleman/gentlewoman. There is no place here for vulgar and abusive language.

    When I think of tennis as a game of gentleman, I am reminded of this episode from the history book. (I know Neha will like this.)

    Wimbledon. The year 1960. Semi Final Match. India’s Ramanathan Krishnan vs. Australia’s Neale Fraser. A shot from Fraser was called “out” in favor of Krishnan. Krishnan interceded and told the umpire that it was “in”. Krishnan, instead of gaining a point lost a point. Eventually that call was instrumental in Krishnan losing the match to Fraser.

    Next week, a Tamil weekly, Kalki, put the picture of Krishnan on the cover and put a caption from Bhagvat Gita: Whenever there is downfall of Dharma (righteousness), I incarnate to re-establish the Dharma.

  28. you know what, I usually check the comment follow up everyday for most of ur posts, but didn't do ths today...thank you for letting me know...again, this episode was completely erased from my memory..I had read about it when i had started following tennis...thank you for refreshing my poor memory again and did that last time when I had taken up a tag, there too and here again you mentioned about Allan Bakke's case...I tend to ignore such details you know even when I know them...need to improve a lot...:)

  29. Thanks for responding this quickly. You don't have poor memory. You are a very busy person.

  30. @ you know who..

    You know I didn't want to make this a back and forth thing between you and me on this blog but I do have to comment once again.

    i think i answered SG's question abt obama.. a lil game of tit for tat between me n sg..

    there is a time and place for everything.. yeah true.. but it doesnt mean she doesnt have the right to get pissed off.. she did piss off.. n got a punishment for that.. wat u guys are demanding is a higher punishment which is not required.. me being a serena fan has nothin to do with nall this.. y shd sharapova get a harsher penalty??

    it is interesting to note that u didnt comment on my take on football.. i hav clearly stated tht these are common in sports.. n even strict dealings wont do any good..

    for the rap music.. plz dont temme the info given on wiki coz i already know all that.. its true that i havent stepped outside india.. rap music was started in 1968.. its had its roots mainly from jamaicans.. and also from west africans.. owing to this fact i had said tht it was not started from african americans.. am sayin this after seeing a lot of documentaries i saw.. so dont put the blame on me as am not a direct witnesser like u..

    jus 1 thing puzzles me.. if u r so much into rap.. y did u make a statement tht rap culture brought all the bad things into this world??

    if u wish u can continue.. but thanks for all the info u hav given..

    @sg.. sorry for converting ur commentbox into a mortal kombat game..
    if u wish i would like to stir up more controversies n increase ur comments.. lol..

  31. Thanks for your comments Vishnu. WTF was not actually saying that rap culture brought all the bad things into the world. He was making a sarcastic comment and telling the readers there were bad things happening in this world even before rap music.

  32. gotcha.. he shd hold a sarcasm sign..