Professional tennis referees have said they are "upset" by the lack of support from the governing body for the chair umpire who provoked the wrath of Serena Williams, and may even consider unionizing and boycotting future Williams bouts.
The chairman Carlos Ramos, 47, was "thrown to the wolves for simply doing his job and was not willing to be mistreated for it," said an anonymous umpire to the Times of London on Saturday's incident in the final of the United States Open.
Ramos called three violations to Williams during his loss to Naomi Osaka: he received on-court training, racket abuse and a rare gaming penalty for verbal abuse, after Williams rebuked Ramos as a "thief" and a "liar."
Immediately, Williams blamed the calls of "sexism", and the referees are worried that league officials seemed to support that claim instead of endorsing Ramos for doing his job.
The chairman Carlos Ramos, 47, was "thrown to the wolves for simply doing his job and was not willing to be mistreated," said another referee on Saturday's incident.
The arbitrators are angry with the governing body officials who backed the star Serena Williams (left) after her tantrum in court and the complaints that the rapes against her were "sexist".
USTA President Katrina Adams was among those who rushed to defend Williams and slandered the referee, suggesting that he would have allowed the men to get away with similar behavior.
The WTA also seemed to support his claim that the sanctions were sexist in a statement, although the ITF sided with Ramos two days later, "one of the most experienced and respected umpires in tennis."
Several arbitrators, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the Times that they were considering boycotting future Williams bouts.
Although the referees do not have a union to organize such a boycott, that can change.
One of the three violations that Ramos called Williams was racket abuse, after the superstar broke his racket (up) on the court in reaction to losing a game.
Another violation came to Williams for verbal abuse of the chair umpire during the match
"There is a lot of unhappiness in the arbitration community because nobody defends the officials," said a senior arbitrator to the Guardian.
& # 39; Referees keep asking: & # 39; What would happen if I were in that chair on Saturday? & # 39; There is a general feeling that Carlos was out of jail for almost 48 hours and that no one is defending the officials, "the official said.
Several arbitrators are pressing in private for a union of officials, the newspaper reported.
A source familiar with the discussions said: "The referees have no means of independent representation and are employed by the governing bodies, if they are not allowed to speak with the media, and the governing bodies are speaking against them, what is suppose that the referees should do?
Ramos (left) has spoken out to say "I'll be fine" after two leading sports governing bodies seemed to support Williams in his claim that his calls against her were "sexist."
The arbitrators are forbidden by contract to speak with the press, but a retired UMP was able to express the views of his brothers.
"The arbitration fraternity is completely upset because it was abandoned by the WTA," Richard Ings, a retired elite referee from Gold Badge, told ESPN.com.
"Everyone is afraid that they may be the next Palm." They feel that nobody supports them when they have to make unpopular calls. "
Ramos, who is Portuguese, broke his silence on Tuesday in a brief interview with the Portuguese publication Tribuna Expresso.
Although he could not comment specifically on the Williams incident, he said: "It's a delicate situation. But arbitration & # 39; a la carte & # 39; it is something that does not exist. Do not worry about me, I'll be fine.
How the furious confrontation between Serena and the US Open referee developed
- Serena Williams received a code violation when her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, appeared to gesture at him, in what the referee said was off-court training.
- Serena told the referee & # 39; I do not cheat & # 39; before the game continued.
- A few games later, Williams broke a racket after losing a game and was 4-3 behind. This led to a second violation of the code and his opponent received a point. Then, Williams made an extravagant diatribe, in which he called judge Carlos Ramos & # 39; thief & # 39 ;: & # 39; You're a liar. You will never be in a court of mine while you live. When will you give me my apology? Say you're sorry, "he shouted.
- This resulted in another violation of the code and his opponent, Naomi Osaka, received a game.
- Williams called the tournament referee as he cried on the court. No further action was taken and the referee left the court.
- Williams went on to lose the match 2-6, 4-6, and continued to stew on the court during the award ceremony to the heckles of the crowd.
- An interviewer on the court had to order the crowd to stop booing until Williams regained his composure. Then he also requested that the taunts stop and he congratulated his opponent.