Serena has just announced on her blog the launch of her new 92K mission. The figure refers to the actual amount she was just fined by the ITF (having already paid $10,000., only 82K was reported in the media). Serena says that she plans to match her fine by raising another $92,000. towards her Africa school project. She plans to auction off personal clothing items to include some of the outfits she has worn at Slam events. I wonder if that will include the cat suit? I know some men who would pay for that.
You would be forgiven if you missed the anger underlying Serena‘s statements of generosity. This is an angry woman. She seems to be seething actually. But it is all couched in such passive-aggression that I would not at all blame you for mistaking her charitable fronting for real compassion. Serena seems to be settling a score.
But don’t take my word for it. Check out globalgrind.com where she is quoted as making a more honest and direct statement. She claims that she faced “the biggest fine EVER in tennis” for an incident that was “dubbed” an “outburst” during which she was accused of “getting mad and using the F-bomb at a line Judge“.
OK you know I love me some Serena but let’s clear some things up. First of all, what happened in New York wasn’t dubbed an outburst. It was called a complete loss of control. Second, Serena wasn’t accused of merely getting mad and dropping the F-bomb. She was alleged to have threatened to ram the ball down the diminutive line judge’s f**king throat and of wanting to kill her. Look up the clip yourself on you tube.
But even if we go with the unsanitized version of what went down in New York, does this justify Serena being charged a historic fine? Is she the victim of sexism? She seems to believe this as she proceeds to compare her situation to that of two men who behaved badly but were fined less than she was.
First there is the HE who was fined less than half of what she was after “someone in his camp” attacked an official. She is of course referring to Jeff Tarango whose wife once famously slapped a chair umpire. Serena fails to mention that this happened in 1995. Fourteen years ago, Tarango’s fine for his wife’s behavior was considered historic.
Then there is the HE who made arguing with officials “cool”, which can only be a reference to John McEnroe. Except that as far as I can recall, Johnny Mac has paid out countless fines in his career despite never having threatened to kill anyone. Yes he did once accidentally hit a kid with a water bottle which is the moment for which I will personally never forgive him. But Serena doesn’t mention this.
Instead she lapses into self-pity. She had me until she lapsed into self-pity. Serena proceeds to recount the countless unfair experiences she has suffered in tennis to include being robbed of a US Open trophy because of bad line calls, and being unfairly booed by the Indian Wells crowd. Serena then becomes enthralled in her self-pity. She goes from being the strong warrior female making her case of unfairness, to being a sniveling, histrionic victim. She encourages the reader to imagine what it must be like to work day in and day out for 20 years only to see yourself denied a much deserved promotion, which she imagines would drive anyone to their “boiling point”.
She then concludes: “Well this is what happened to me, and to be honest I believe I reached my boiling point. After yet ANOTHER wrong call I began to wonder- Was I being ‘overlooked’ or wrongly judged on purpose!??? Is this being done to keep me from achieving my best? Why does this keep happening at the same place?”
Serena says she doesn’t mind being fined, that “if” she did wrong she is willing to "accept the repercussions", and all she asks for "is to be treated equal". Earth to Serena: You did wrong, you were fined, and being charged a hefty fee is actually a marker of equality. Deal with it.