The great American tennis player Billie Jean King has joined the fans to meet Serena Williams after she demanded a double standard in the application of the rules by the referees in relation to the female and male players.
Serena Williams' hopes of winning the 24th Grand Slam title were truncated after extraordinary scenes at the US Open.
The American lost the final 6-2 and 6-4 to Naomi Osaka, who became the first Japanese tennis player to win a Grand Slam title.
But the victory was overshadowed by the three code infractions handed over to Williams by reserve judge Carlos Ramos during the game.
Williams received the penalty of the third game for verbal abuse, after calling the referee Ramos & # 39; thief & # 39; and demand that he issue an apology.
The interaction occurred after he issued a warning for a violation of the code related to receiving training, which is prohibited in Grand Slam matches.
& # 39; I do not cheat & # 39;
Williams insists that he did not know that his coach was giving him instructions, saying that he had never "cheated in his life".
"I do not cheat to win, I prefer to lose, I'm just letting you know," he said in protest of Ramos' decision.
In frustration during the change, Williams broke his racket, winning another violation of the code and a deduction of one point.
That caused the outburst that was picked up by the microphone on the court.
You're attacking my character & # 39;
"You're attacking my character, you are, you owe me an apology," he said.
"Never, ever, you will be in another court of mine while you live." You are the liar
"When will you give me my apology? You owe me an apology." Say it, "Say you're sorry … You stole a point from me, You're a thief, too!"
Williams claimed that the discretion used by referee Ramos was sexist, saying that male players have shown worse behavior and escaped punishment.
"I'm not a cheat, this is not fair," he said.
"There are many men here who have said many things, but because they are men that (the punishment) does not happen to them … Because I am a woman, you are going to take it from me, that's not right."
After the game, Williams said that Ramos had never discounted a game of a male tennis player for calling him a thief.
He noted the violation of the code given to Alize Cornet for changing his shirt on the court at the beginning of the tournament as evidence of a double standard in tennis.
"I can not sit here and say I would not say he's a thief, because I thought he had taken a game from me," he said.
"But I've seen other men call other arbitrators several things.
& # 39; I'm here fighting for women's right & # 39;
"I am here fighting for the rights of women and for women's equality and for all kinds of things," he said.
"For me, it surprises me … This is scandalous."
William's French coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, admitted to ESPN that he had actually been instructing Williams as a coach, but he believed that Williams had not listened to them since he had not looked in his direction.
He also said that Osaka coach Sascha Bajin had been advising his player.
"If I'm honest, I was training, I do not think she would look at me," he said. "Sascha was also training all the points."
Billie Jean King praises Williams
Billie Jean King said there is a clear double standard in the way the rules apply to women and men.
"When a woman is emotional, she's 'hysterical' and is penalized for that," he said in a message posted on Twitter, adding that if a man had a similar outburst, there would be no penalty.
Former professional tennis player James Blake admits he has said worse than Williams during a game and has escaped punishment.
Sports reporters, commentators: a fair
The Washington Post's sports columnist, Sally Jenkins, was scathing when she reproached referee Carlos Ramos for handling the situation.
She described granting sanctions for relatively minor infractions such as "pure pettiness" and an "abuse of power".
"One referee ruined a great occasion when both players, Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams, ended up in anguish with tears falling down their faces during the presentation of the trophy and an indignant crowd shouted boos on the court," wrote Ms. Jenkins.
ESPN reporter Pam Shriver said in the New York Times that Williams claimed that sexism was behind the harshness of grief "in this day and age, a just decision."
She said that while Serena is to blame for what happened, the referee did not fulfill her function of maintaining order.
"One of the main functions of a referee is to maintain order in a match, and order was lost," he said.
"Serena has some guilt over that, because she could not let him go, she felt she was mistreated."
Williams outburst criticized
Others who watched the game felt no sympathy for Williams.
A former vice president of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), Richard Ings, defended the decisions of referee Ramos and said the sanctions are "justified."
Fans gather around Williams
Fans shared their anger and frustration, pointing to examples of double standards.
Some social media users urged male tennis players to support Serena Williams.
Other users of social networks said that sexist behaviorist stereotypes should not have a place in sports.
The fans were determined to see the positive, praising Williams and Osaka for their behavior in defending each other.