Tennis is by far one of the most boring sports. Generally speaking, the same athletes win the same tournaments. Even the matches themselves are designed to be a meticulous test of consistency and endurance. So when a household name, like Serena Williams, loses, this should send a shock wave of excitement throughout the sport? William’s lost did, but the credit that Naomi Osaka deserved was undermined by the controversy Serena Williams created. Umpire, Carlos Ramos, found himself the victim of a smear campaign for adhering to the rules. Serena Williams used her platform to play the victim of sexism, which of course, is compounded by intersectionality. Only, it wasn’t sexist nor, by extension, racist. Her side was in clear violation. The call was fair and uncontroversial per the rules. Jesse Kelly tweeted a perfect thread on the issue.
Serena Williams believes herself the victim because enforcing the agreed upon rules led to her side being punished. This enforcement, as Williams and Jack Dorsey would have us believe, was the scheme of a sexist ploy to deny a woman of color the ability to be emotional during a tennis match. This would mean she doesn’t want women to be held to the same standards of men. Rather she believes in being held to a different, privileged, set of standards. And of course, all this assumes she is being altruistic in her fight against perceived sexism. We must recall, she was beaten by a woman, and the match wasn’t particularly close. Who is to say that Serena Williams doesn’t want to be held to a unique set of lower standards while the rest of the tennis playing society, except maybe Venus, adhere to the regular standards.
And here we find the core flaw in championing victimhood. The ones in society claiming victimhood aren’t interested in restoration, rather elevation. Recall the Black Lives Matter movement. A normal person evaluated each notorious cop shooting on its merits. Yet the facts of each case didn’t matter to the BLM activists. It didn’t matter whether the dead was armed, committing a crime, or attacking a police officer. The facts of several cases were ignored to push a status of victimhood. The goal of the movement was not to end police shootings or brutality for everybody but to hold black Americans to a different standard in law enforcement. Championing victimhood does the opposite of championing equality or meritocracy. It creates division and double standards. Serena Williams isn’t interested in gender equality; she just wants to deflect blame and distract from her loss.
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