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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Serena Williams Outburst at U.S. Open

By Douglas V. Gibbs

Tennis is one of those "watched occasionally, when nothing else is on" kind of sports around my household. If it wasn't for the Internet, I probably would have never learned about Serena Williams' temper-tantrum.

She went into a childish tirade because of a bad call by the judge. Granted, after later review, the official was wrong when he called a "foot fault" on Williams at the U.S. Open, but the reaction by Serena was uncalled for, and a little more evidence of the unraveling of personal responsibility in America. Appropriately, Serena has been fined for her childish moment of rage, as well she should be.

Serena's reaction to the call by the judge included a lot of profanity, yelling, less-than appropriate gesticulations, accusations, and threats. It is a surprise that she didn't start jumping up and down, or fall on her back and start kicking, during her tirade. Even well known hot-head John McEnroe said it was a bit much - and that's sayin' something.

The punishment given so far is the maximum possible monetary fine of $10,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct, and an additional $500 fine for racket abuse. But those were on-site punishments imposed by the U.S. Open, and tournament referee Brian Earley. The Grand Slam Committee is going to get involved next. They will launch an investigation, and possibly take away from Serena Williams her entire $350,000 prize purse for the current tournament, plus hand down a ban for future Slams starting with the 2010 Australian Open. Whether or not punishments of this magnitude are levied against her partly depends on whether or not the Grand Slam Committee considers Serena's actions a "major offense."

To stop future outbursts by other players, the committee needs to take appropriate actions. The call by the judge being in error is not the point. The childish outburst by Serena Williams was unconscionable, and that kind of tirade should never be tolerated by officials of any sport, much less tennis.

For one thing, it shows a disrespect for authority. She may have been right, but there are better ways to put across your point than a temper tantrum.

Professional basketball has lost a lot of viewers, including me, because of the antics of the players. Fans don't appreciate these highly paid athletes acting like thuggish children, and tennis will lose fans if they don't take decisive action.

As an added note, I believe this is not the last time we will see sports figures throwing temper tantrums. Our society has become so narcissistic that these people literally don't understand that they look like fools when they do this. Society is teaching the younger generations that it is all about them. The answer to them is whatever benefits them most. They have been wired to expect everything to be in their favor, at their fingertips, and to their advantage. We have bombarded them with psychology based bull that has them firmly believing they are entitled, and that everything is supposed to be "fair". So, when they meet "unfair" situations, they don't know what to do. When they think they have been treated unfairly, they burst.

Life isn't fair. Sometimes Murphy's Law kicks into high gear, and we go through moments of obstacles that we think have hit us unfairly.

Suck it up, and act like an adult.

It's a game, for God's sake. You get paid to play a game. Lighten up, roll with the punches, and laugh it off. We don't have time for childish antics.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Serena Williams berates official, loses match for conduct violation - Yahoo Sports

Serena fined, more punishment possible - Yahoo Sports

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