John McEnroe’s tantrums were legend. Serena Williams’ single outburst is…a disgrace.

Via on Dec 5, 2009

tantrumserena williams

What’s the difference, pray tell? Why is it cool and funny and even admirable—god, he wants it, what a competitor!—when John swears and cusses out a ref, but it’s a record fine with Serena loses her shizzle?

Does this have something to do with Serena being a woman, and/or being black?

Via Feministing:

Serena Williams is being fined $82,000 for her outburst at the US Open in September.

During the U.S. Open, Williams was called for a foot fault and then cursed out the line judge, which ultimately caused Williams to lose the semi-final match to Kim Clijsters. Well, Grand Slam administrator Bill Babcock won’t forget and gave his judgment on Serena’s punishment on Monday.Babcock announced that Williams will be fined $82,000 for her tirade and put on a two-year probationary period. If Serena has another outburst or major offense at any Grand Slam Tournament, she will be barred from the next U.S. Open and fined $175,000.

Babcock told the Associated Press in a telephone interview from London, “…if she does not have another offense in the next two years, the suspension [will be] lifted.”

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20 Responses to “John McEnroe’s tantrums were legend. Serena Williams’ single outburst is…a disgrace.”

  1. There may be some other factors here, but mostly it's just that tournament tennis has much higher standards and much better role models today than back when McEnroe was doing his thing. McEnroe was in the tradition of Jimmy Connors and Illie Nastasse and others. I think any white male player today would receive the same penalty as Serena, if not worse.

    What about your recent video of McEnroe at 48? I don't know where this was, but I went to a exhibition senior tournament in Chicago with McEnroe which was more like a circus act than a tournament. The crowd came for the show and the sponsors and McEnroe delivered. These senior shows have little relevance to the regular tour. Plus in this particular video, at least, McEnroe at 48 wasn't nearly as abusive and disgusting as Serena was in her direct physical threats to the line judge.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  2. There may be some other factors here, but mostly it's just that tournament tennis has much higher standards and much better role models today than back when McEnroe was doing his thing. McEnroe was in the tradition of Jimmy Connors and Illie Nastasse and others. I think any white male player today would receive the same penalty as Serena, if not worse.

    What about your recent video of McEnroe at 48? I don't know where this was, but I went to a exhibition senior tournament in Chicago with McEnroe which was more like a circus act than a tournament. The crowd came for the show and the sponsors and McEnroe delivered. These senior shows have little relevance to the regular tour. Plus in this particular video, at least, McEnroe at 48 wasn't nearly as abusive and disgusting as Serena was in her direct physical threats to the line judge.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  3. There may be some other factors here, but mostly it's just that tournament tennis has much higher standards and much better role models today than back when McEnroe was doing his thing. McEnroe was in the tradition of Jimmy Connors and Illie Nastasse and others. I think any white male player today would receive the same penalty as Serena, if not worse.

    What about your recent video of McEnroe at 48? I don't know where this was, but I went to a exhibition senior tournament in Chicago with McEnroe which was more like a circus act than a tournament. The crowd came for the show and the sponsors and McEnroe delivered. These senior shows have little relevance to the regular tour. Plus in this particular video, at least, McEnroe at 48 wasn't nearly as abusive and disgusting as Serena was in her direct physical threats to the line judge.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  4. (continued from above)

    It's not that I like McEnroe. I'm still a four time a week tennis player for whom McEnroe's play is a model. But I lost all respect for him after reading his autobiography, in which he tried to justify his on court behavior in a way that made it clear to me that it was a conscious and pre-meditated attempt to intimidate the officials, not just a loose temper.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  5. (continued from above)

    It's not that I like McEnroe. I'm still a four time a week tennis player for whom McEnroe's play is a model. But I lost all respect for him after reading his autobiography, in which he tried to justify his on court behavior in a way that made it clear to me that it was a conscious and pre-meditated attempt to intimidate the officials, not just a loose temper.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  6. (continued from above)

    It's not that I like McEnroe. I'm still a four time a week tennis player for whom McEnroe's play is a model. But I lost all respect for him after reading his autobiography, in which he tried to justify his on court behavior in a way that made it clear to me that it was a conscious and pre-meditated attempt to intimidate the officials, not just a loose temper.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  7. (continued from above)

    It's not that I like McEnroe. I'm still a four time a week tennis player for whom McEnroe's play is a model. But I lost all respect for him after reading his autobiography, in which he tried to justify his on court behavior in a way that made it clear to me that it was a conscious and pre-meditated attempt to intimidate the officials, not just a loose temper.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  8. Rick Gilbert says:

    I agree with Bob, 100%. McEnroe's outbursts were NOT seen by everyone back in the day as laudable. He was a dick (albeit a talented one), and he should have been fined, maybe even suspended–I never rooted for him. Serena also physically threatened a court official–how can you just look the other way? Race has nothing to do with it. If she kept it to "that was a horrible call," "how in the world could you make that call" and she was given a huge fine, then you might have a case. She crossed the line however (no pun intended), and deserved what she got.

    Just my opinion: McEnroe did a LOT to reinforce the ugly American image abroad–especially in England. My relatives there were appreciative of his talent, but horrified by his demeanor.

  9. Thanks for your comments, Rick.

    I'm glad you mentioned McEnroe's skill as a commentator. He's really way better than anyone else at that. (Although I still get irritated when he seems still bemused with how he used to behave back then.)

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  10. Thanks for your comments, Rick.

    I'm glad you mentioned McEnroe's skill as a commentator. He's really way better than anyone else at that. (Although I still get irritated when he seems still bemused with how he used to behave back then.)

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  11. Thanks for your comments, Rick.

    I'm glad you mentioned McEnroe's skill as a commentator. He's really way better than anyone else at that. (Although I still get irritated when he seems still bemused with how he used to behave back then.)

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  12. Thanks for your comments, Rick.

    I'm glad you mentioned McEnroe's skill as a commentator. He's really way better than anyone else at that. (Although I still get irritated when he seems still bemused with how he used to behave back then.)

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  13. Forgot to mention that what John and Serena clearly need is Yoga! See:

    "Yoga Tennis"
    http://wp.me/PlUox-iN

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  14. Forgot to mention that what John and Serena clearly need is Yoga! See:

    "Yoga Tennis"
    http://wp.me/PlUox-iN

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  15. Forgot to mention that what John and Serena clearly need is Yoga! See:

    "Yoga Tennis"
    http://wp.me/PlUox-iN

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  16. Forgot to mention that what John and Serena clearly need is Yoga! See:

    "Yoga Tennis"
    http://wp.me/PlUox-iN

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  17. Amen on both counts. Great points. Shoulda had you and Bob write on this one!

  18. Love that! 'Specially the last 'graph.

  19. blainerunner. Very interesting anylysis.

    Not to defend his behavior, which I deplored then and deplore now, but many of McEnroe's rants were not even insults, just colorful and persistent complaints about the call itself, like "You've got to be kidding me." or "Did you even SEE that ball?", or "You can't be serious". Certainly very different than "I'm going to BLANK you" or whatever.

    Bob Weisenberg
    http://YogaDemystified.com

  20. [...] Committee in addition to the $10,000 from the US Tennis Association after her “outburst” at the 2009 US Open. Meanwhile, John McEnroe is one of the most beloved and celebrated retired players, not to mention [...]

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