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September 14th, 2009
10:39 AM ET

Serena Williams' tennis outburst under review

A profanity-laced outburst by tennis superstar Serena Williams could cost her a lot more than originally thought. Williams has already been hit with a $10,000 fine for swearing and waving her racquet at a line judge. She was also fined an additional $500 for racquet abuse when she threw her racquet and broke it earlier in the match.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/14/wertheim.art.jpg caption="Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated calls Serena Williams' outburst unprecedented."]

The incident with the line judge occurred after she was called on a foot fault in the semifinals of this weekend’s U.S. Open. If officials decide Williams committed a major offense under the Grand Slam rules, she could lose all of her prize money and maybe even suspended from a future Grand Slam event.

Jon Wertheim has been covering the U.S. Open for Sports Illustrated where he's the senior tennis writer. He joined John Roberts on CNN’s “American Morning” Monday. Below is an edited transcript of the interview.

John Roberts: Have you ever seen anything like this?

Jon Wertheim: Not like that. And certainly not from Serena. We've seen players lose it with officials but to get that close and threaten like that. Also, at that stage – a Grand Slam semifinal. That was unprecedented as far as I’ve seen.

Roberts: There is no clear angle that I have seen on the foot fault. Apparently that line judge, though, she's very good. She's very confident in the calls that she makes. Serena had been called for a foot fault a couple – three games earlier on the other side of the court by a different line judge. If it was an infraction, it was a minor one. She wasn’t a foot into the court or anything like that. Maybe she touched the line. Looking at it, John McEnroe said you don't call something like that at that point in the game. It was 15-30 with Serena serving, and she touched the line. Should that even have been called?

Wertheim: I mean, you know, in a perfect world it never happens, but I don't think you can waive off infractions. You get on slippery terrain pretty quickly when you make calls or don't make calls based on where you are in the match. I mean, you're either over the line or not. Unfortunately, you wish one way or the other there was conclusive video. It was a pretty shaky call, but that in no way excuses what followed.

Roberts: You see her when she's serving up the second serve there she lifts the toe of her left foot, does it wander over onto the line? It’s really unclear. In the press conference afterwards, which you were at, she didn't say whether or not she actually foot faulted. She said maybe I did. She didn't apologize but talked about the encounter between her and the line judge.

She said, “I think she said I would kill you and I was like what? I was like wait a minute. But then I had misheard, she had never said that. That was just something - I was like whoa. I was like wait a minute. Let's not, because I'm not that way.”

Maybe she didn't say “I'm going to kill you,” but what she did apparently say, because we've seen it on camera, “I swear I [expletive] want to take this ball and shove it down your [expletive] throat.” You were at that presser. What did you think of her appearance?

Wertheim: She had calmed down considerably, which is good. But you would have liked to see a little more contrition. This was a pretty big violation. … This was way over the line. Serena had calmed down and was even sort of joking about it but not a whole lot of apology. That was disappointing.

Roberts: John McEnroe, famous as one of the bad boys of tennis when he was playing, said you can't defend the indefensible. Look at what McEnroe has done over the years. I was reviewing an old match that he had with Lendl and the umpire called an ace and McEnroe comes over and there's so many expletives coming out of his mouth it’s really unsuitable for television. He was called for unsportsmanlike conduct. What's the difference between the way he behaved and how Serena behaved on Saturday night?

Wertheim: He faced consequences. I don’t think there’s a double standard here where people turned a blind eye. Also, I don't recall John McEnroe approaching the official and making a physical threat like that.

Roberts: So what do you think is going to happen? Sportscaster Mary Carillo was mocking the fine that was assessed to her. She says she could be suspended from the game, at least suspended from a Grand Slam event. What do you think?

Wertheim: I think maybe there's a creative solution. I mean, a fine is going to be silly no matter what. She'll make $500,000 this tournament alone. $10,000 is chopping money. By the same token, she's done an awful lot of good for the sport. We've seen players whack balls at fans in anger and not be suspended. I think a suspension is hard to justify. But there’s got to be another alternative there. Clearly, this needs to go punished but I think there are options other than a fine or suspension.

Roberts: She has new book coming out this week, "On the Line." She's supposed to be here on Wednesday to chat about that, so we'll see if she makes it. Hopefully we'll get her side of the story.


Filed under: Sports
soundoff (522 Responses)
  1. Dee

    Did she go too far? Yes. Is this a chance for her critics to get on their high horse and want to do whatever possible to remove her from domination of the sport. Also, Yes!

    Every fan knows that players blow up at judges. Its the same from the neighborhood courts to Grand Slam tournaments. She overreacted and should apologize to the judge and viewers. She should be fined. Maybe sit out a Slam. But a year is ridiculous... ridiculous... That's somebody's idea to move up lesser players. Tennis players are human. Even the best make mistakes.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  2. Campbell

    Oh...........COME...........ON! Suspend her?!?! Or suspend her INDEFINTELY?!?!?! Are you serious???????? Football players have been to jail for CRIMES-CRIMINALACTS--FELONIES--and some of them have not been "banned from (their) sport." Do I agree with what she did? Absolutely not. Do I believe she had a right to say what she did? No-not out loud. Should she face some sort of punishment Yes. Tennis is "no better" than any other sport--and ALL athletes should have guidelines to follow and consequiences for actions. But suspended her or ban her completely? PUH-LEEZE!

    September 14, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  3. Ms. Moye

    Let's get one thing straight. Kanya West has outburst like what he did at the MTV awards all the time! This has never been something Serena has done before. Sure she screams at herself alot during a bad match to motivate herself, but not at the lines people, not like that. What about all those many years that John McEnroe did the same things? Or Martina Hingis? They never got a suspension. These kind of things happen in tennis alot. You can't say do this for one when it wasn't done for others! That's unfair. Now she was wrong, but she did get fined! That's enough!

    September 14, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  4. Patricia Dickson

    what the big deal Serena Makes a mistake he that is with out sin cast the frist stone JonWertheim is acting like he is God i hope when his time come and he get the same treament he does'nt expect to get for giveness why dont this same apply tojoe wilson when he call the President a liar why isn't the same rules goes to him too i hope the africian americian rember this and take it to the polls.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  5. Mike Y

    Also, for you morons who say Connors (btw not spelled "O'Connors" or "Conners") or McEnroe didn't pay the penalty for their tirades: Jimmy Connors WAS fined 20,000$ and suspended ten weeks in March of 1986 for a tirade against a chair umpire and subsequent default. Vilas, McEnroe, Navratilova, etc were all punished with fines many times in their careers. Become a real tennis fan before you start proffing opinions about tennis history.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  6. Susan

    Regardless of foot faults or questionable calls, this behavior should not be tolerated. I was shocked and appalled by Serena's actions and words. She should not only be fined, but she should lose the money she would make from this tournament, her sponsers should drop her and she should not be allowed to compete for at least a year. Tennis is one of the few sports that I highly enjoy watching because it is not so brutish, well, that is, until yesterday!

    September 14, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  7. derick

    should have known that some would try to play the race-card..instead of realizing this is so uncalled for in the sports areana..no matter what color you are..look at the white players that have been punished..
    the sports are getting to where the players can say and do anything,and get a slap on the hand..
    stop the insanity ..it has gotten so out of control,and a 10,000 fine in a 500,000,is a joke..money is a joke to her and a slap on the hand..
    the only punishment that she will feel is if she is suppended from the game ..

    September 14, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  8. spicypink

    What about John McEnroe? What backwoods, in-bread Wilson? Maybe Wilson should be fined $10K for yelling at the President. He let emotions get the better of him and so did Serena? His is ok but Serena's is not? Why are the rules always different when it comes to black and white. This is a travesty!

    September 14, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  9. Robert

    Good day, bad day...big deal. The threatening stance, and behavior was absolutely out of place. Regardless of what she said, and what she said in unbefitting of an elite athlete, the threat to the linesperson is inexcusable and an embarrassment. Sure it was in the heat of a semi-final, but what are we supposed to do excuse her for that...why not excuse all the people who actually followed through with their threats and injured people "in the heat of the moment..."?

    I'm affraid that by letting people like this get away with behavior like that, we do ourselves a disservice. Whether they are congressmen, athletes or priests, ill-will toward other people needs to be checked at our proverbial doors - and dealt with quickly and affirmatively when it is not.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  10. Denise

    Serena lost it because she was being handled by Kim. There was an other foot fault in a previous match in the week when she stared the line judge down but did not say a word. All of this outrage about her being fined more or suspended is up to the USTA. I would only hope that they look at all of the other racquet abuse through-out the two weeks and justify there actions. We will not go there about race in america, I think the problem with the Williams girls has always been their dominance in the game. Get over it and be roll models to your own children.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  11. gail

    I think she was coming unhinged in the first set breaking her racket because she was not playing well. Whether she had the foot fault or not is now moot because she was going to lose that match anyway when she had always believed she would beat Cllysters. Serena is only happy when she's winning. She needs to grow up and stop the sociopathological behavor of no remorse and no guilt. She is a bad example of a role model. Therapy and gratitude would help her get over herself and we could then appreciate her again.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  12. jeff

    Referees swallow the whistle all the time at the end of games. What's the big deal? A ref makes a very qiestionable call and all of a sudden Serena is a detriment to the game? Gimme a break. How about the Commissioner reviews the tape and if the ref was wrong, they get suspended and fined?????

    September 14, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  13. vectrex

    first of all, as a tennis pro, i find it so ridiculous when i hear other peers of mine and johnny mac say "the line judge cannot make that call at that point in the match"! i would be the first one to be pissed and frustrated about a call like that against me but the line judge was only doing her job and made the right call! just because it was 15-30 and serving to stay in the match it does not mean that a call should not be made, it's absurd to think otherwise, rules are rules and they have to applied regardless of when it happens in a match! i guarrantee if it was any other less famous player involved nobody would care but since is serena....and it's not the first time she got called in that match or the tournament! her reaction was so aggressive and thuggish, especially by a woman, that for anyone who thinks otherwise take a look at the video and watch and listen to what and how she says what she says to the judge! and then in the press conference she's so arrogant like the world spins around her and "i dont remember what i said"?! give me a freaking break!! imagine in the nba playoffs semi's, with 2 seconds left they dont call a foul on a 3point attempt to tie the game, imagine other sports for that matter just because it's a "critical juncture of the game"! they should use a replays for footfaults!
    great job to clijsters for her win, she was the better player, what a great story!

    September 14, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  14. SNM

    Yes Serena made a mistake. She is a human with emotions. No matter how much we would like to believe that we have everything under control we do not. She made her appologies for her remarks. Who are we to say that it was half harted an applogy is an appology. That should be determined by the lines woman.

    She should not be banned and will not be banned. Why? She is a money maker for the sport of tennis. Like or not it is a business. If every one of us were fired for every time we said something out of line none of us would have a job.

    She did not beat her spouse like some athletes have done. She did not drive will drunk. She did nothing to endanger the public. The damage was self inflicted.

    If she is fined more than any other athlete in the sport. Serena should punish the sport by taking herself out of the game for a while. See how the rating will drop. Maybe then the powers that be would learn to practice the rules with everyone not just a select set of individuals. It has been proven that talent has nothing to do with the ranking system of the game. She is a proven winner who has done a lot for the sport with the additon of a whole new generation that watches.

    As for the people who state that they can no longer watch the sport with their children reminder you are the parents not the athletes that your childern are watching. Turn off the TV and explain to them that that is the behavior they should display. Also explain to them that there will be consequences for such behavior. Which Serena is feeling she lost a grand slam, fined and people are bashing her. It does not matter that she is a multimillion paying money for something that is not in the budget for anyone is hard.

    She is an athlete she does not have the power to make political decision about your health care, interest rates and all the things that personally affect your life. So let it go. You do not have to pay the fines or have the whole world judge you for one incident for the rest of your life.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  15. Richard

    Serena – You are good for the game of tennis, stand up and apologize to the line judge and to your fans and move on.

    John McEnroe said you don’t call something like that at that point in the game, that's why John McEnroe has no respect for the rules of the game that he milks for a living. Would someone please put that "has been" out to pasture

    September 14, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  16. nancy

    If she was a TRUE champion, she would have protested in a manner becoming a champion. instead she acted like a Thug. BooHoo to her.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  17. Neal

    You cannot make comparisons to players like Connors and McEnroe. Yes, they were argumenative and sometimes rude, but they never made profanity-laced threats to officials. There were families in the stadium.

    Serena should receive a suspension

    September 14, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  18. David moffitt

    Didn't Jimmy Connors moon the crowd once? Was he suspended for life?

    September 14, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  19. ralebol

    The Williams sisters are the only thing that has made tennis somwahet interesting in the last few years. They are great players that are fun to watch. Tennis is incredibly stiff and boring these days, the top players are just a bunch of robots with absolutely no personality. At least with McEnroe we had great tennis, true emotions, and a great show.
    As for bad/good calls, you have the technology to use instant replay, so use it and eliminate the need for the judges that probably are asleep anyway.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  20. Silly SYlly Nonsense

    This is dumb it is over – she lost the semis on a call that should never have been made – it was a dumb call. She got fined. That is enough. I think the line judge ought to be scolded in private for making the call - which on replay one cannot even discern. Was the white line judge racist against the black super star??? Perhaps there is more history here than we know

    September 14, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  21. Tennis Fan

    Did you forget aboout Conners, McEnrowe, Natase. Navratilova, they all had outbursts equivilant to Serena's outbursts. Which one of them was banned.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  22. David D.

    To all the people who are saying that she should be excused of the act because she's an athlete who was caught up in the moment are spewing pure rubbish. Yes you get caught up in moments when you are in a close match, but unless you have a real anger management issue you can stop yourself from making threatening comments and smashing rackets on the court. And afterwards you have remorse if you are a half-way decent human being and apologize. You don't excuse anything away as a public figure by saying 'I was caught up in the moment."

    I've said things to players and about officials while on the pitch but never a threat, and never directly to the official. I can see an expletive being no big thing, but threatening to do bodily harm, and it was a threat, is a huge mistake that should not go unpunished.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  23. Ace Cool

    When we all see the cell phone video on YouTube of Serena stepping on the line (and we will), it'll put to rest any question of this being a "bad call." Mark my words.

    Regardless, there's no excuse for bad behavior. Think about the losses in endorsements, integrity and reputation she will now face. Plus the wrath from her Mom, Dad, and sister. I wouldn't want to be here right now!!!

    September 14, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  24. ALR

    OMG People! I see there are many racist people out there. Yes, Serena lost her cool–so what! Men do it all the time and get away with it. Yes, she shold apologize for what she said and maybe a fine, but kicking her out of the sport and these other dumb punishments are ridiculous. People lets get real–if it were you–you would have done the same thing. How dare you all try to make Serena the poster child–of angry atheletes. She and her sister are the best tennis players ever and I think some people are tired of seeing them win. Well, GET OVER IT!

    Is this a payback for that dumb congressman in SC?

    September 14, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  25. Joe

    This is being WAY overblown, and mostly by some media types.
    She blew her top, lost the match she was losing anyway, and got fined.
    OVER.

    (And so should be the career of the lineswoman who called a foot fault in that circumstance.)

    September 14, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  26. Eric K

    Sam: You asked about civility in the USA ... there are 300 million people in this country. You're going to have a jerk or two around.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  27. Ielana Brown

    THe lack of courtesy and disrespect shown these two African American stars has been amazing to witness over the years. One of them finally had enough.

    She should not be punished. Tennis should thank her! If those two women are not playing who watches female tennis.

    And if she is suspended, I can tell you there will be a revolt by women, of her race, against the sponsors. There is always an effort by the mainstream media to find some black person to demonize. Generally its a male. But when not male is available, then Serena will do.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  28. Tom

    A comment of Frank Blocker's statement today.
    Saying "I would like to shove this ball down your throat" as opposed to "I'm going to shove this ball down your throat" is still a threat. She said it in anger, it was clearly a threatening stance and verbal speech. As for free speech, I respect Frank's right to state this misinformation, but the truth of reality is that we live in a threatening society. Take the two statements and extract only their meaning, yes the former means that one has the desire to shove that ball down another persons throat, the latter means they will attempt. However, the societal meaning is very clear. This is a threat and Serena should be punished for that. Her behavior was atrocious and she should be fined. We don't need this kind of behavior influencing our children.
    How one could say this isn't a threat is beyond me quite honestly. And it's just another sign that our society has messed up their values by assisgning this to political correctness. Drives me nuts. Carry on.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  29. Dave Jones

    Obviously, "Frank Blocker" does not have the ability to appreciate the difference between screaming at officials and threatening them.... which he argues Serena did not do. Screaming what one wants to do to another person is not only a threat by way of revealing desired intent and potential action, but the actualization of that threat at a psychological level. Imagine Serena going up to the face of President Obama and screaming the same thing. Try to convince the secrete service and the American people that she was just practicing free speech. You're looney.

    About racism, racists see everything around them through the lens filter of race. When a person analyzes the world like that, the person becomes hyper sensitive and will see things which are not even there. Same thing apply to reverse-racists, who in the name of moral righteousness, engage in their own little racism, sometimes to gain social advantage.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  30. Kathryn

    Williams' conduct was reprehensible and intolerable. In this instance, suspension is warranted. No athlete is ever larger than the sport. I listened to her following news conference, and found her attitude to be arrogant and unapologetic.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  31. james

    Suspend her for at least a year .It's just another example of american sportsmanship. Wy can't we behave like most of the worlds athletes .It's just another example of young rich american athletes who have no class. I'm extacit kim clisters won she is nothing but class.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  32. Lorraine

    Shame on tennis for allowing her to play doubles today. People "please" the call did not cause her to loose the match. SHE WAS LOOSING!! That's why she was so angry to begin with. She should lose all prize money for the open and get on with it. It's pocket change for her anyway. She said she had nothing to be sorry about, called the incident "the past". Does anybody really think she's going to apologize? Think not!!!!

    September 14, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  33. Wesley

    I think she was way over the top, and her lack of contrition is scary. It's like, who cares, you can't touch me. Yes, bad things used to be done in all sports, but in the day of tons of cameras and the internet you don't get away with things like that anymore. Serena is a huge, physical presence, so her going at a judge with racket out saying she would like to do her harm is pretty scary.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  34. sanjay arora

    such things will continue to happen.

    i also get angry and yell.

    let all those who cannot control their anger, go to a psychoanalyst.

    thank you.

    bye.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  35. Jen

    Banned indefinitely? Are you kidding me? John McEnroe built his entire career and temper tantrums and outbursts and now he has a cushy job as a commentator for at least three different networks. There are so many double standards here I don't even know where to begin. Sure, she was out of line, but its clear people have done much worse and gotten away with it. At least be fair.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  36. givemeabreak

    In fairness to everything, when something bad and wrong was committed, regardless of whodunit, where it was committed, how or why it was done. Race, gender, status symbol have nothing to do with it. We as a society should not give some a slap on the hand, and others a jail time or worst for the same type or level of misbehavior. If we apply this ineaquality to one situation, this issue for now and for the future will always be an open wound. No one should be above the law, maybe in the manmade law, but definitley NOT in the TRUE law.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  37. KLF

    She did not show good sportsmanship. She should have been fined and was. This is not the first time there has been a heated outburst by an athlete and will not be the last. As for Tennis, does anyone else rememeber the John McEnroe momements. She did nothing illegal(ie betting on a match visa-vi Pete Rose or dog fights visa-vi Michael Vick). This was an extreme part of the match adrenaline pumping etc. Bad sportsmanship thats it. Let it go.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  38. Raju.

    Folks,

    Since the Bamster was elected, it has been open season on everything that is black... bad trend... but it very clear.. beginning with Wilson from the nazi-town (SC).

    Serena- is wrong for trying to take her bad play out on the line judge- but for the line judge to make that call and follow it up by saying Serena said she would kill me is just as scandalous, she is at best incompetent, she should be banned from the sport for a year atleast.

    Remember this, This is the first time in her 13 year career Serena ever did something like this, fine her , suspend her if need be but dont let the Chinese judge go free.................

    September 14, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  39. wow

    So, if I'm reading these comments correctly, Asian people hate black people so they purposely call foot faults with the expectation that said black people will have a fit and threaten them, so the Asian folks can then whine about it later?

    Put the race cards away people. The line judge is a human who made a mistake–a big one. But she's HUMAN.

    To those of you chastizing Serena, I would LOVE to see the level of poise and grace you would display in the same situation. There is no excuse for the words she used, and she should apologize, but give the woman a break! She should be punished and she will. However, I would be willing to bet that regardless of the punishment your lives will go on as if none of this ever happened. Oy!

    September 14, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  40. Mark

    At one point in my long ago youth I held an extremely low world ranking in tennis. I was horrible on the court but it was always directed at myself. My guess would be she bit her toungue on the first foot fault call and at that point in the match I think MCEnroe has a point its a tough way to call. But then where does that stop. My friend lost his life in iraq two days before he was coming home so ive heard people say well why was he in harms way that close. So now when do you call that ? a week before a month? pretty soon someone dies before that made updeadline too. A rule is a rule. And a foot fault is a foot fault. Ive never heard another player threaten somesort of violence against a referee in tennis before. I hate the idea of suspending her because i doubt youll see it again. My answer would be to fine the living hell out of her for every unsportsman like for the rest of her career and make her do some public service anouncements and a real apology. Make good come out of bad. id say 3milliion dollars would make her rethink it in the future and you can feed alot of hungry kids with that money.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  41. Rock

    I see the racists are out in full force again. The only way they can ever hope to start winning matches again is to have Serena banned. Not happenning!!!

    September 14, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  42. Steptoe in NYC

    Profanity-laced tirades? Nothing new for professional tennis though generally rare in the semis of a major.

    A top-ranked woman player threatening to shove a bleeping ball down a linesman's throat? Unheard of.

    Serena has been a class act both on and off the court but she committed a huge double fault here.

    Fault 1: the incident.
    Fault 2: the non-apology. The second offense will stay with her as long as the first, I'm afraid.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  43. Cleo

    banned??! wow...she'll be back. she's rich yeah and she's that good- no matter how hard u may hate on her!

    September 14, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  44. Marky

    No, Serena is not "spirited", and no! She didn't get called on because she is a Black woman. Are you kidding me?! Can we please remember Black players have been winning and have many fans of every color since Arther Ashe and Evonne Gollagong, for crying out loud! I am sick of every time something like this happens, it must be she got a bad call because she's Black and someone's a racist. Bull! She screwed uo and then made it worse by acting like a 13 yr. old brat instead of a respectable person (which, by the way, I usully think she is). It was stupid and embarrassing and just like watching a 2 year old kid throw a fit in the store and have a parent excuse her at every turn instead of saying, "Our player is having an unnecessary fit and needs her mouth washed out with soap!" Where is the civility our society needs? Don't excuse Serena and gripe about Joe Wilson. We need some manners back in society, no matter what the cicumstances!

    September 14, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  45. TD-California

    Hmmm...could someone show me in the ITF/USTA Rules of Tennis (art.18) (http://www.usta.com/AboutUs/Rules.aspx) where it says that "...in really important situations, touching the baseline with one's foot should not be called a foot fault." ? The baseline is part of the court...either you enforce the rule or you don't; you can't have a rule that is only imposed at certain times and only for certain people.

    Certainly seems to me that Serena may have touched the baseline (a foot fault) but the line judge undoubtedly had a better angle than any of us.

    Also, see The Code and the discussion of player conduct. There is an assumption of good conduct. Just because people like McEnroe and Connors were boors (and the ITF looked the other way) doesn't excuse bad behavior. Enforce it for everyone, but clean up the ugly scenes if you want tennis to be viewed in a positive light. What would Arthur Ashe think?

    September 14, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  46. Jack phoenix, AZ

    Strip her of her winnings for this match, and 3 mo. suspension.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  47. Linda B., Ga.

    It's 1 thing for Serena to be upset with the "foot fault" that was called against her. It's a totally different thing in the manner in which she handled it. She knows better, She knows that if she disputed the call that should've approached the Chair Umpire. The very first thing she did wrong was "opening her mouth". This is NOT the first time Serena has made an @ss of herself on the court and I'm sure it won't be the last. I don't care what color the person is, what she did was wrong. Perhaps her sister Venus needs to teach her how to be a better sportsperson and act like a Lady...

    The sad thing is that Kim C. didn't received the KUDOS for the match that she sorely deserved because she was the better player, at the time. She was winning the Match and Serena knew it...

    September 14, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  48. race card

    Could Serena be racist against Asians?

    How come nobody, especially black people, talks about this possibility?

    September 14, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  49. Kelly

    John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors and other 'bad boys' of tennis, have been fined, suspended and apologized in the past for their unsportsmanlike conduct. Now it's Serena's turn, she should be fined and punished just like any other tennis player. Foot fault should be called no matter where in the game it happens, if there was a foot fault it is the linesperson's duty to call it, you cannot pick and choose when you call an infraction, wise up people. One thing should be noted, money doesn't buy you class.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  50. Mahendra

    Serena should be banned. But the reporting on the incident is very low key as if they have to cover it somehow. CNN's coverage by John Roberts doesn't live upto great name that CNN is trying to create for itself.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  51. Allen

    Leave Serena alone. Let her pay the fine already imposed, and deal with her loss. That is enough punishment. She is a fierce competitor like many other athletes (Amateur and professional). No one was physically hurt and no one was in danger of being hurt. People in competitive sports get very emotional and tend to get carried away at times. Her comments, although not positive, were brief and no physical harm was inflicted. She is not perfect, but she has been a great athlete for many years. This should not be getting this much press. "Go William Sisters in the Doubles"

    September 14, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  52. fr8erdawg

    I see the race idiots have joined in, conversation over.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  53. Mary

    I used to watch tennis just a little back in the day. Serena and Venus came onto the scene and I became riveted. It broke my heart sometime the way the two were treated. Especially, when they rarely challenged the bad calls. Instead, they chose to remain poise, noncombative. Now, Serena goes off in defense of herself one time and you haters of a strong, black woman, who rules the sport, start calling for her head. Where was your howls of indignation when McEnroe acted the fool? And most recently, when males and females with a different skin hue, threw their racquets and showed they were human? The Williams sisters have given a lot to the sport of tennis. It's about time they are given the respect they deserve. It's long overdue.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  54. GiveMeABreak

    Let's be clear on one point – Serena did not lose the match because they threw her out. They accessed a penalty point against her, which due to the point in the match resulted in her losing.

    So McEnroe was ejected for throwing his racquet (a potential physical threat) but Serena was only accessed a single point penalty... so perhaps people are correct that there is racism at work here !!

    September 14, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  55. MP-VA

    I don't think Serena's outburst is an example of our society going down the toilet. Please, people, the evening news hasn't changed in 5,000 years and outbursts in sports is nothing new–get a grip. I do wish Serena would own up to her behavior, regardless of her or anyone else's opinion of the judge's call. She lost control of her emotions in a very heated moment in the match in which she was losing and playing terribly. Serena needs to apologize, of her own volition, directly to the judge in person. Humans make mistakes and she needs to set a public example of how to learn from her mistakes and then move on with her life.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  56. tony

    wow i just cant believe how racist and small minded these comments are. its just awful.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  57. Black Eye for Tennis

    Serena should be ashamed. This type of behavior should not be tolerated. Regardless of where you are in the match, an infraction is an infraction. She knew the rule and this wasn't the first time she had been called on this. To see this outburst from her as a professional athlete and what she has accomplished is a black eye for tennis and for herself. She knows that you cannot let your emotions get to you. The football player from Oregon was suspended for the entire year because of what he did. Do you see Tiger, Jeter, Koby, Venue doing this? Regarding her apology it was pathetic. She didn't apologize to Clijsters for her actions, she didn't apologize to the official, she didn't apologize to the USTA and she didn't apologize to the fans and people watching that had to listen to trash mouth tirade. The USTA should suspend her indefinitely and take her winnings and donate them charity. Thank goodness Venus has more class then Serena, but then again Serena never had much to begin with.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  58. Lauren

    To all the people that want her to be suspended or banned from tennis are probably the same IDIOTS that did not want President speaking to the school children. I am so flippin sick of you people, going around with your bibles and such talking about what's right and what's wrong when at the end of the day it's closeted racsim! Bottom line, she should be charged with ASSAULT?!?! Anyone who thinks that you should slap yourself and move FAR AWAY from society because you are holding evolution back. She told the woman "I WOULD LIKE TO..." Not that I would and yeah it was wrong but we all have bad days white, black purple pink. Somedays you wake up and are just not in the mood to deal with anything, so do not sit on your high horse condeming anyone because we have all had days when we just did not feel like it. She should appologize, pay her fine and move on. I can't belive that something like this is being debated and I agree with 99.9999% of the post on here it is stricly racial bottom line. If it was anyone one else who was not of color would this forum exist? I highly doubt it! BTW I am a white woman and if I can see this as racsim then I know anyone else with common sense can too!

    September 14, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  59. Craig

    I knew as soon as this all went down there would be people screaming racism. Whatever, it is typical. However, for those of you claiming that worse has been done, or too big a deal was made of this. Let me ask you, if a player in the MLB, NBA or NFL had acted this way towards an official, they would most CERTAINLY be suspended. And with tennis supposedly being a "gentelmen's/ladies" game, this seems even worse. I guess if a golfer on the PGA tour had acted like this to a rules official after a ruling was made not in the players' favor, it would be ok too? Some folks need to get a clue...Serena showed her true colors in the heat of the moment and now it's either the officials overreacted or some of us are racists.....sad.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  60. Mark

    ""Tennis does not need this kind of image.""

    Yes it does. No one cares about tennis. If it had a "Happy Gilmore" type player, it might get some funds.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  61. Diane

    Oh please – I saw a previous comment bringing race into the picture. Threat or not, very poor sportsmanship. Remember McEnroe, of course – same to him and his tirades didn't go unpunished either. If a white player in any sport gets called down for an infraction do you hear the discrimination card being played? Race has nothing to do with this Serena is a tennis icon, a role model for many, especially the young hopefuls of today. In any sport, if you don't like a call being made, you dispute it, discuss it, etc., but tirades in front of millions are highly unprofessional. All people in the public eye need to take a step back and think before they act or speak!!

    September 14, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  62. sam

    this fine was a drop in the bucket to her,making 500,000..
    she should be made to pay ,not money ,but ban her from tennis for a year..
    this will make her think before such un-sportmanship conduct is made..so un-lady-like..
    this is a sport ,nothing like this should happen..
    punish her so this will not happen again,if you let her get off..so easy..you have not seen the last of her out-burst, they will continue unless punished from the game.,as others have been from sports.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  63. Mike Y

    The questionable foot fault call was NOT correct at that point in the game. Anyone who plays tennis knows you let some things "slide" at important points in the match. IF her whole foot was over the line and in the court at the time she struck her serve, THEN the call would've been appropriate.

    As for her subsequent behavior: TOTALLY UNJUSTIFIED. I do believe that what she said constituted a threat (hell, I'd be scared if she said that to me and I'm a pretty big guy), and for that, some larger fine should be levied. Given the circumstances, she should NOT be suspended; who wouldn't go ape-poop in that situation, with so much on the line?

    She'll already pay a large penalty in the court of public opinion for not apologizing (the Williams sisters' arrogance by now is pretty legendary) and will certainly lose even more fans (and maybe sponsorships) in the upcoming months.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  64. Joel

    Just let her play. She lost the point and the match in a grandslam semi, as well as got a fine. She got embarrased on national TV. There is going to be an impact on her sponsers. How much more does she need to be punished? It is not like she killed someone with her car, or beat a spouse or been training dogs to kill each other.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  65. Kentucky Girl

    All I know is this....
    If I did that at my job, I'd be either put on probation or fired. Same thing goes for all those in the public eye. Barack should do that to Mr. Wilson and Kanye West's record label should do that. I don't think she should be banned for life or anything (cause Lord knows I'd still be able to get another job) but there should be serious consequences.

    I love Serena and I was so disappointed to find out about this. But it's amazing how we allow people to get out of control with their emotions in the name of athletics.

    All sports should have things in place to regulate these types of things. I don't believe Serena is a violent person, but I don't know her either. We hear all the time about people making threats, what should we believe? It's not a matter of threat or no threat, she showed no professionalism and to that I believe she should be "punished" as any other person in the US would be if they were unprofessional at their place of employment.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  66. Guillermo

    It wasn't a racism thing, and it's not a gender thing. It was a player crossing the line of conduct – regardless of the line call. Yes, it came at the most unusual of times – match point to get to the U.S. Open finals. But to suggest that it shouldn't have been called due to the point of the match is ridiculous. Bending the rules to give her an advantage? I wouldn't have agreed had it been Clijsters. And spare me the semantics of whether it was a threat w/ words like "would like to" versus "I'm going to." No one would have taken the threat seriously, nor would anyone – including the line judge – been truly "scared" that Serene would do something. It comes down to simply committing a violation of code behavior. If an NBA or NFL player said that to an official, he'd be kicked out of the game and likely suspended for a game or two thereafter. In this case, fining her – as a millionaire – doesn't amount to much – no matter the amount. She should simply be suspended for the equivalent of an NBA/NFL game or two – which is likely the next WTA event she is scheduled to attend – and be the end of it. Serena is a great player and she will continue to be a great player after this little hiccup. After all, don't we still venerate John McEnroe – one of the rudest people on the planet?

    September 14, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  67. TamOk

    Heck, even the sports meltdowns CNN has linked in this article are far worst then what Serena did. I do think she deserves to be fine and possible not allowed to play in the doubles of the tournament but anything beyond that is overkill.

    Congrats to Kim Clijsters on her win. She played like a pro and that's what we should try to remember from this tournament and not any bad behavior.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  68. my2centsworth

    USA-Freedom of speech at its finest. Free to say it doesnt mean it won't cost you after you say it!

    September 14, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  69. Eric in WV

    @ Frank Blocker

    Yes, we have free speach in this country. And our sports also have rules; in most you can not under any circumstance abuse an official, verbal or physically.

    If Serena thought that she did not foot fault then she should have directed her anger at becoming an activist for a system to challenge and officials judgement call.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  70. A Fan

    A common theme in many previous posts is that this has happened before or in other sports. This implies to me that these posters believe that was has gone on before was not good behavior either.

    So, if there is a consensus that this type of behavior is bad, then to me it is bad behavior. Saying that others have done the same or worse seem to make the case that they should be punished also, not that Serena should not be.

    To me the issue is the inconsistency which the rules are applied. This lack of inconsistency leads to several problems: the appearance of favoritism and the belief that since others have not been punished therefore I can push the envelope also.

    Finally as far as foot faults go, I believe the rule is you cannot touch the line prior to striking the ball. Next subject. If you don't like the rule change it. I would be in favor of video challenges, however.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  71. Neil

    They're not going to suspended her from any tournaments. That would be like the PGA suspending Tiger Woods. Fortunately for Serena, she's the main attraction in her sport. So they'll probably increase the fine, make her apologize and move on.

    We should do the same.

    The judge was assinine for make that call at that point in the game and Serena was wrong for reacting the way she did. But she doesn't have a history of this, so don't expect her to be suspended from the spot.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  72. Debbie

    I think people need to get past whether there was a Foot fault or not. That is not the issue here. This issue is that Serena Approached, Verbally Assaulted (using prohibited foul language), and shook her raquet in a Threatening manner at a line judge. That is a Code violation , and since it was the 2nd one (1st was for raquet abuse at the end of the 1st set) it was a point penalty. Since they were at Match point - it cost her the match. She wasn't defaulted because of the behavior - she lost a point. ( In reality - just the F-Bomb alone would probably have cost her a point, much less 3 or 4 of them)

    McEnroe has faced the consequences of his behaivors similarly. AND I honestly don't recall him swearing so explicitly or swinging his raquet at close range to an official. He may have called them stupid idiots, but did not threaten bodily harm.

    Serena needs to be fined significantly - 1/2 her prize winnings, or banned from the next Grand Slam. Tennis needs to show that this behavior is not allowed.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  73. T Crab

    She's always thanks "Jehovah" for her wins...but this was a very un-Johovah loving bunch of words that came out of her mouth. Maybe if she's suspended, she should spend a little more time in the Great Hall ( or whatever they call their church) and work on her self control and how she speaks towards others. An outburst is understandable, but not the threats.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  74. KGC

    Look, she's of that Kanye West, narcissistic, holier-than-thou ilk who thinks the rules don't apply to them, and when they get called out on borderline sociopathic behavior they claim they are persecuted because of their race. What crap! She should be Pete Rosed from tennis and pronto.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  75. Tom

    The sisters have continually shown little to no remorse for any of their out-of-line on court flare ups. Serena especially is not one to forgive anything nor express her own faults – she deflects. That said – she paid the price, correctly at the time. We would not be having anywhere near this discussion, if that penalty had not led to losing the match. It has nothing to do with Race – except for those who choose a cop-out. Any professional is subject to the same treatment in any sporting event where they go so far outside the norm.

    What she does need to do (and her sister) is to learn humility and express regret for losing it. Accept it and go on.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  76. Ardent

    Serena's outburst was to another minority woman – thank goodness. Otherwise she REALLY would be in trouble.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  77. James

    Why are we bringing race into this issue. How many times has Serena been out of a match and end up winning. She was wrong for her behavior, however, what caused her to behave like this? The root cause was a wrong call. Can we tackle the root cause of her actions?

    September 14, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  78. Scott

    i like what Sam said. Christiemarie seems to be a closet bigot. I'm sure she also is against Obama, the health care bill, and for Sarah Palin. Honestly I'd like to knowif i'm right. Tennis has seen outbursts constantly. She was over the top, but i brt that judge thinks twice before calling another close foul.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  79. steph

    WOW. what a horrible duoble standard.

    During Jimmy Conners last run at US open there were numerous times during his match wtih Krickstein where he yelled profanities and waved his racked and stared down the umpire. Jimmy was cheered and glorified.

    Johnny Mac has done everything and more.

    I think this is great for the sport full of rather dull ladies.

    LONG LIVE SERENA.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  80. Elena

    I'm a tennis player, and I have watch the US Open from beginning to end. Yes the Williams sister get more fooffault than any other player.
    I do believe there should be some punishment for her outbust, but please dont' get on a wicht hunt, she is a great competitor you all are hipocrits about this incident. If anyone ever watched Serena play she is always intense. Other players as done the same and nothing is made of it. I agree she make a mistake. For all the good she as done its funny how some tennis new anchor is willing to dump her out.
    God is a forgiven God and I think some people should check their consience.
    E

    September 14, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  81. StLouisMAN

    Every incident involving a black person is not racial motivated.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  82. Curtis_PA

    McEnroe did not throw his raquet at an official. Throwing or slamming a raquet, while not good sportsmanship, and one that should be punished, is NOT threatening someone. Oh, and BTW, I do believe that wonderful embarrassement Serena also broke one of her raquets during the same tournament out of rage.

    Regardless of her ability, she's an embarassment to the game. Perhaps she should take up Hockey where acting like that is accepted.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  83. J Davis

    Why should she be suspended? John McEnroe used to go off on
    a tirade and how many times hdid he get suspended? Also, look @
    other sports, you don't see baseball or football players getting suspended for yelling at the referees. Fighting, yes, yelling, no.
    I'm not saying that it was right but there should be some rules/regs
    for each sport and no double standards. Women get mad & throw
    fits, too, just not usually one like Serena

    September 14, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  84. kevin who

    ok why are you people bringing up Wilson in this? hes a politician and he didn't threaten the president, he called him a liar. calling someone names is different from I will shove this down your throat.

    People are also bringing up racism, can you please stop that crap? if
    the judge was white, there probably would have been riots.

    maybe the call was questionable but serena already had the racket infraction on her, and then she threated a petite line judge. You bring up that gonzalez threw his racket, not sure if he was punished or not. But maybe tennis would like their ladies to act a little more lady like? double standard perhaps but it would be nice if the ladies were better behaved.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  85. tony

    that was not uncommon for tennis. dont you people remember mcenroe, or jimmy conners. they did much worse. as a matter of fact soderling broke his racket in a match with federer a couple of days earlier and nothing happened to him. i think that it was lame for them to end the match like that. arent we all grown ups here, cant we understand that she was in the moment. bad way to end the semis.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  86. jay

    its simple really, good or bad call, no matter. that is why you have refs on field.

    when people are ok with all computers doing everything then we can do away with human refs, i guarantee that the players don't want this because then they would have no arugment against a computer. players want human refs BECAUSE they make errors its the only way they can still get a call overturned, if you go all computers they are done.

    serena threatened a line judge that should call for a suspension, in football if you do that or touch a ref you are suspended and fined. so should serena.

    yes johnny mac was a bad boy that cursed etc, should he have been suspended? yeah, but that was the 70s and 80s, also just calling a judge bad names is not the same as threatening a person.. totally different.

    johnny mac would just call the guy everything under the sun, every bad word that basically said you are a "moron, stupid, incompetetant, should be fired, didnt' deserve to be a judge, etc" but he never said anything like "i'm going to beat you up or shove this ball down your throat"

    September 14, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  87. truth

    enough already with the 'race card' would ALL the racists stop playing it...it's gotten soooo much worse in the last 6 months...wonder why???? Oh well.......

    September 14, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  88. sergio bricco

    She should be held accountable for her actions. If she did what they say and said what they say then she is guilty as charged. If it were a minor star would they have be suspended ? I bet they would have. Stars in the sports world have to respect the game like the newcomers and the oldtimers on their way out. Serena can call it being hotheaded or say she was into the game , but that doesn't matter. I think she should have her purse stripped and get a lower seed at the next grand slam. Until the stars of the world realize that they are being big babies I think we should treat them as such.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  89. Ann Nony

    Serena's outburst did not lose her the match. She was well on her way to losing the match anyway. Her outburst lost her the CHANCE to pull herself together, win the match point, then win two more points, then the tie-breaker for the second set and then the third set to win the match. So what should be the penalty? Abruptly losing the chance to pull off a win - or to lose honorably rather than dishonorably - is a BIG penalty. The fine, although pin-money for Serena, is a reasonable symbol. She has in all liklihood learned a lesson, unlike McEnroe who never learned until his testosterone level dropped with age.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  90. Race is still an issue!

    mande September 14th, 2009 12:42 pm ET

    I’m more disappointed by the fact that she has not taken responsibility for her inexcusable, but not unforgiveable actions, and apologized. While the fact that she threw the tantrum is terrible, it is worse that she has only tried to justify her actions – not take full responsibility for them and apologize.

    Even if her PR people are giving her this bad advice, she is her own person: she knows what she did was wrong – apologize and move on. People will forgive her for bad judgement – they won’t forgive her for her lack of contrition.

    One of her excuses – – “I’ve heard way worse” – reveals a character flaw. So because other people do something wrong, it justifies what you do?

    You’ve lost many admirers over this Serena.

    -----------–

    Charles Barkley said he wasn't a role model and people need to recognize this and take responsibility for raising their children to understand that. Just like gambling, only a few win in sports, the rest need to make sure they stay in school and study. Like Obama wanted to say to the children, yet the racists didn't want their children to hear that. Fine example to put the President down for a positive message, yet go overboard when a woman protests a call. What was she supposed to do? Get on her knees and beg for a change in the call? Yeah, right!

    September 14, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  91. Paul

    When you are getting called on line faults, what should you do? Stay away from the line!!! What did she do? The same serve near the line twice in a row during a critical point situation. This all could have been avoided by Serena not pushing the line judge to call it again. She called it once and gave Serena a warning. Why didn't Serena back up a bit? Hindsight I guess.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  92. Come on..

    I'm not saying her conduct was ok, but why was it ok and even ADMIRABLE when John MacEnroe threw fits every match?

    September 14, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  93. Brian

    She's a role model pure and simple and she should have behaved differently. McEnroe references are irrelevant we're not talking about what happened in the past but what should happen now in 2009.

    Bringing race into it just makes you people sound foolish and those of us who are not black care less about black issues and racism. Every time someone black is criticized it can't be racism every time surely!

    Black or white her behaviour was poor and she should be fined and maybe banned from the next ranking tournament. Set a precedent that making threats to officials is not acceptable and there are real penalties as opposed to minimal fines.

    Like the NFL commissioner is trying to do. start making the athletes realize its a privilige to play and they shoudl behave accordingly.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  94. David J

    We all need to take a step back and look at this for what it is an argument over a bad call that got out of control. Is what Serena did wrong, absolutely, did it and will it cost her dearly, yes she lost the match without serving down 15-30, and I have seen Serena come back from Match point several times to win, it did not look likely this time but we will never now, also she has spomsor to answer to a book to promote, and all of the questions over the next week will be about this. Serena has done a lot of good, whether some of you want to admit this or not, but all of this will be irrelevant in she does not apologizes and shows that she is truly contrite and understands what she did is wrong . Serena needs to take responsibility for her actions, and I believe she will, I just find it funny that in a sport that has been dominated by Fiery personalities for decades, like McEnroe, and Connors and many other white males, that there are so many that are offended to the point that they are calling for Serena to suspended and or banned from tennis. This is very confusing to me, did she hit a fan with a tennis ball, or did she actually strike the line judge or anyone else? I cannot help but wonder if it was the site of a young black woman doing this has caused some of this frenzy. Let’s all relax and not get so bent out of shape that it magnifies this any more then what it actually is, an overreaction to a bad call and horrible display of sportsmanship by someone who clearly out matched by a better opponent and clearly frustrated by it.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  95. Natalie

    If I spoke to one of my coworkers that way I'd be in the head of HR's office quicker than you can say Serena. Her behavior was unacceptable – it's just as simple as that.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  96. Phil (Sacramento)

    Before you use the 1st Amendment to defend Ms. Williams maybe you should take a look the crimminal law statutes for "assault". You don't have the freedom to threaten people. When you do, its a crime. You can pay a fine and go to jail. Which would be a great place for Ms. Williams to spend a few days to think over her actions.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  97. Richard

    Where was all the concern over the behavior of Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe and Nastahe? These clowns pulled stunts like this for years but we mainly embraced them. Serena was wrong but lets keep things in perspective.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  98. Chris

    Serena should be fined but not suspended, she lost her temper just like any other human being. As far as Mary Carillo is concerned I have been watching tennis for years, and she has nothing but negative things to say about the Williams, both Serena and Venus. She never refers to them as American even though they have carried the American women in tennis for several years now. Not only have they carried the women, they have carried Americans in the tennis world. Serena is no worst then any other person who gets upset!!!

    Mary Carillo didn't raise this much hell about Martina Hingus (busted for Cocaine), or Jennifer Capriati (busted for shoplifting and drug use). What type of image did they bring to the sport? No one is asking for special treatment but for fair and equal treatment. I say suspend Mary Carillo.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  99. Amber

    To punish Serena beyond the scope of her crime, an emotional outbursts in the middle of an intense match, would be a racist crime in itself. How many more prominent African American athletes must be punished before the dominate society is satisfied?

    September 14, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  100. Jon

    A whole bunch of people in here with comments that show how ignorant they are of what it takes to play at that level.

    September 14, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
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