Hey sports fans: you might have heard that Japan’s Naomi Osaka won her first grand slam title Saturday afternoon at the U.S. Open, defeating favorite Serena Williams.

Osaka’s victory was overshadowed, though, by an umpire docking Williams a game after she called him “a thief.”

CNN reports:

[Umpire Carlos] Ramos first gave Williams, 36, a code violation warning for coaching in the second game of the second set — he ruled that coach Patrick Mouratoglou gave her hand signals from the stands. Williams duly approached the net and told Ramos: “I don’t cheat. I’d rather lose. Every time I play here I have problems.”

Williams earned a point penalty Saturday for cracking her racket when broken for 3-2 in the second and subsequently was docked a game, to trail 5-3, for what Ramos deemed to be verbal abuse towards him. “You stole a point from me and you are a thief,” Williams said during a changeover at 3-4, to prompt the ruling.

For what it’s worth, the penalty didn’t cost Williams the match; Osaka played the better game. But Twitchy favorite Stephen Miller (aka @redsteeze) knew the hot takes were incoming:

Lo and behold, Slate came through with the piece just hours later:

How did Serena Williams survive in the lily-white world of women’s tennis?

Hey, don’t leave out The Atlantic, which also rushed out a piece.

Gillian B. White writes:

Taking a game away from Williams for using the word “thief” during such a high-stakes match is unlikely to do much to quash the notion that a double standard exists between men and women in today’s competitive tennis field. And the stakes of that double standard can feel even higher for women of color. The support for Williams on Saturday—and throughout her career—comes not just from appreciation for her rare talent, but in part because some fans have an enduring memory of how difficult it is for women of color to make it in expensive, mostly white sports.

Did we mention that Osaka (whose mother is Japanese and whose father is Haitian) outplayed Williams?

MSNBC political analyst Zerlina Maxwell warned about the media coverage to come:

And here’s activist Brittany Packnett:

Here’s Color of Change with charges of racism, sexism, and misogyny:

Or maybe the umpire was just enforcing the rules?

Who?


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