Sexism in Tennis

By Rahmel W.

When it comes to sports, there’s a lot of controversy about sexism. When you think about tennis, you may think that it’s the most gender equal sport, but it’s not. Just because many female tennis players are doing well at the sport doesn’t mean sexism isn’t expressed within it. Most sports like to set men and women apart, one of those sports being tennis. Some people focus on the sexism but more attention needs to come to it so the sexism can stop and the men and women can be treated equally.

Just because both men and women participate in the same sport doesn’t make the sport gender equal, this is a common misconception about tennis. Professional tennis player, Serena Williams says, “I believe that sexism is rampant in the sport.” In 2018, Serena Williams accused umpire Carlos Ramos of sexism after she was given a plethora of code violations for calling the umpire a thief and smashing her racket. Williams said, “For me to say ‘thief’ and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark. He’s never taken a game from a man because they said ‘thief.’ For me it blows my mind. But I’m going to continue to fight for women.” For Christine Brennan, a CNN sports analyst, the conflict between Williams and the umpire show that women are not being treated equally in the tennis world.

In 2018, tennis player Alize Cornet was penalized for fixing her shirt when realizing it was inside out. Meanwhile, male players have changed their shirts many times without a problem, just like John Isner. Isner was playing against Juan Martin del Potro and changed his shirt 11 times, without penalization. Then, a day later Novak Djokovic sat shirtless for several minutes, while his opponent John Millman stepped away to change his shirt. Both resulted in no code violation or penalization. The U.S. Open clarified that players can change their shirt when sitting in the player chair, and that what Cornet did was not a code violation. The U.S. Open’s code clarification proves that Cornet was discriminated against for her gender. If she was a male, she would’ve gotten away with it without a penalty/code violation.

In 2017, Raymond Moore was called out for being sexist. Raymond Moore is a highly profiled tennis player. Raymond Moore said “Female tennis players ride on the coattails of men and they should go down every night on their knees and thank god that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born, because they have carried this sport.” This comment got him a lot of backlash from women and he had to resign as the Indian Wells tournament director and CEO. Also in 2017, Novak Djokovic said “Male tennis players should earn more prize money than women because their matches attract more viewers.” This comment resulted in the same result that Raymond Moore got and he has since then apologized for anyone that might’ve took this comment the wrong way.

Women get penalized and discriminated against for their gender, while men can do the same thing and just sit back without being penalized. Men in sports think that compared to women they are superior, but women like Serena Williams are taking a stand and calling out sexism. After the controversy with Williams calling the umpire a thief she said, “I’m here fighting for women’s rights and for women’s equality and for all kinds of stuff, but I’m going to continue to fight for women.”  Women and men should be treated equally because if the sexism in sports continues there will be even more controversy that will make the players and the game look bad overall.

When it comes to sports, there’s a lot of controversy about sexism. When you think about tennis, you may think that it’s the most gender equal sport, but it’s not. Just because many female tennis players are doing well at the sport doesn’t mean sexism isn’t expressed within it. Most sports like to set men and women apart, one of those sports being tennis. Some people focus on the sexism but more attention needs to come to it so the sexism can stop and the men and women can be treated equally.

Just because both men and women participate in the same sport doesn’t make the sport gender equal, this is a common misconception about tennis. Professional tennis player, Serena Williams says, “I believe that sexism is rampant in the sport.” In 2018, Serena Williams accused umpire Carlos Ramos of sexism after she was given a plethora of code violations for calling the umpire a thief and smashing her racket. Williams said, “For me to say ‘thief’ and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark. He’s never taken a game from a man because they said ‘thief.’ For me it blows my mind. But I’m going to continue to fight for women.” For Christine Brennan, a CNN sports analyst, the conflict between Williams and the umpire show that women are not being treated equally in the tennis world.

In 2018, tennis player Alize Cornet was penalized for fixing her shirt when realizing it was inside out. Meanwhile, male players have changed their shirts many times without a problem, just like John Isner. Isner was playing against Juan Martin del Potro and changed his shirt 11 times, without penalization. Then, a day later Novak Djokovic sat shirtless for several minutes, while his opponent John Millman stepped away to change his shirt. Both resulted in no code violation or penalization. The U.S. Open clarified that players can change their shirt when sitting in the player chair, and that what Cornet did was not a code violation. The U.S. Open’s code clarification proves that Cornet was discriminated against for her gender. If she was a male, she would’ve gotten away with it without a penalty/code violation.

In 2017, Raymond Moore was called out for being sexist. Raymond Moore is a highly profiled tennis player. Raymond Moore said “Female tennis players ride on the coattails of men and they should go down every night on their knees and thank god that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born, because they have carried this sport.” This comment got him a lot of backlash from women and he had to resign as the Indian Wells tournament director and CEO. Also in 2017, Novak Djokovic said “Male tennis players should earn more prize money than women because their matches attract more viewers.” This comment resulted in the same result that Raymond Moore got and he has since then apologized for anyone that might’ve took this comment the wrong way.

Women get penalized and discriminated against for their gender, while men can do the same thing and just sit back without being penalized. Men in sports think that compared to women they are superior, but women like Serena Williams are taking a stand and calling out sexism. After the controversy with Williams calling the umpire a thief she said, “I’m here fighting for women’s rights and for women’s equality and for all kinds of stuff, but I’m going to continue to fight for women.”  Women and men should be treated equally because if the sexism in sports continues there will be even more controversy that will make the players and the game look bad overall.

Student Bio

Rahmel W.

2019 Newark Camp

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