Tennis Umps Reportedly Mull a Boycott of Serena Games

They feel 'thrown to the wolves,' per rumblings
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 12, 2018 8:58 AM CDT
In this photo from Saturday, Serena Williams, right, talks with referee Brian Earley during the women's final of the US Open in New York.   (AP Photo/Adam Hunger, File)
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(Newser) – Serena Williams has already been hit with a $17,000 fine for a confrontation Saturday at the US Open with the chair umpire. Now she may face a boycott from other umps who stand behind Carlos Ramos, per the Washington Post. In Serena's court: the US Tennis Association, tennis legend Billie Jean King, and NOW, which back her claims of sexism after Ramos issued a game penalty in her faceoff against Naomi Osaka. But the International Tennis Federation, the tourney's governing body, has said Ramos acted with "professionalism," and Martina Navratilova agrees that there's a double standard for men and women in tennis, but thinks that Williams "got part of it wrong." Now, new reports reveal umpires are mulling a boycott of Williams' games, as well as unionization, partly because they can't speak to the media about specific matches.

An anonymous official tells the Times of London that Ramos was "thrown to the wolves" and "not supported" by the USTA, leaving umpires to feel "hung out to dry," per the Guardian. "If talking to the media is not allowed, and governing bodies are speaking out against them, what are umpires supposed to do?" one source notes. "The umpiring fraternity is thoroughly disturbed at being abandoned by the WTA," a retired ump tells ESPN. Ramos, a Portuguese native, told a newspaper in his home country he's "fine, given the circumstances" and "don't worry about me," the AP reports. "It's a delicate situation, but umpiring 'a la carte' doesn't exist," he added. Meanwhile, Australia's Herald Sun has defiantly issued a partial reprint of a controversial cartoon of Williams, widely condemned for being a racist caricature, on its front page, accompanied by the headline "Welcome to the PC World," per the AP.

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