Tennis umpires reportedly are considering boycotting Serena Williams’ matches in the wake of the tennis star’s confrontation with chair umpire Carlos Ramos in the U.S. Open final.
The Times of London reports that officials are not only talking about boycotting the tennis star’s matches, but they’re also looking into forming a union.
During her upset loss to Japan’s Naomi Osaka, Williams argued with chair umpire Carlos Ramos, and was first warned, then penalized a point, then a game. She called Ramos a “liar” and a “thief” and later accused him of sexism.
How the sexism row between #SerenaWilliams and the umpire unfolded at the US Open 2018 finalhttps://t.co/CfuTRJ4HDK pic.twitter.com/gm5NkuFviq
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) September 9, 2018
Officials with the Women’s Tennis Association and United States Tennis Association backed Williams’ claims of sexism, which according to the Times has angered umpires. One unidentified umpire told the Times that the USTA had not supported umpires, and that Ramos had been “thrown to the wolves for simply doing his job and was not willing to be abused for it.”
The International Tennis Federation defended Ramos on Monday, saying his “decisions were in accordance with the relevant rules” and he “acted at all times with professionalism and integrity.”
In the wake of the incidents, The Guardian reports umpires feel Ramos was “hung out to dry for nearly 48 hours and that no one is standing up for officials.” That sentiment has led to renewed talk among umpires of forming a union, an idea that has been around for years.
The tournament referee’s office fined Williams $17,000 for infractions during her U.S. Open final match.
The Williams and Ramos situation has sparked plenty of debate in the tennis community. Tennis legend Martina Navratilova wrote in The New York Times that Williams should have shown “respect for the sport we love so dearly.” Others, including Billie Jean King and Chris Evert, criticized Ramos for his handling of the situation.