Serena Williams Loses It at the U.S. Open

Who will defend her?

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Rep. Joe, "You Lie!" Wilson is not the only public figure to lose his cool in the heat of the moment. Serena Williams verbally attacked a line judge at the U.S. Open on Sunday, after the official called a foot fault on the tennis star. "If I could, I would take this [explicative] ball and shove it down your [explicative] throat," Williams told the line judge, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. Williams was hit with a penalty point that cost her the game, and later, a hefty $10,500 fine. The incident also also earned her a heap of criticism and scorn from commentators. At The Los Angeles Times, Bill Dwyre argued Williams should be suspended. Otherwise, he said, the incident could "wipe out years of image-building in the sport." At the moment, Williams's cause is not a popular one. Still, two columnists dare to come to her defense:

  • 5 Reasons Why Serena Williams Was In the Right  Will Leitch at New York Magazine says there was no foot fault, the judge was oversensitive, and Williams did not have a meltdown. And he wants to know why there isn't more anger with the line judge. "The line judge put herself at the middle of the action," wrote Leitch, "and let her own inability to handle an angry player decide who won the semifinal at the U.S. Open. We cannot fathom," he continued, "why she's not taking more heat. Because if we were Serena Williams ... we would have wanted to shove that ball down her throat, too."
  • Double Standards, Keli Goff laments at the Huffington Post. She says Serena's meltdown was wrong, but argues that the Williams sisters still aren't accepted in the elite world of tennis because of where they are from. Goff says this is about class--social class:
With the Williams sisters it has always been less about what color they are and more about who they are: from Compton, not from Connecticut; wearing wildly colored fashion combos, instead of pristine tennis whites; talking loud and proud of their roots, instead of quietly trying to blend in.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.