Some Are Calling Serena Williams’ Loss Sexist — But Sport Legend Says She ‘Just Couldn’t Let It Go’

A tennis legend has spoken out about the allegedly sexist treatment of Serena Williams at the U.S. Open.

Martina Navratilova, who has won 18 Grand Slam singles matches, criticized Williams’ behavior in an op-ed for The New York Times.

Chair umpire, Carlos Ramos, gave Williams three penalties for rule violations during the match. Although the tennis player has spoken out about the sexism she felt she experienced because of the violations, Navratilova believes that she “is missing the point.”

“We cannot measure ourselves by what we think we should also be able to get away with,” said Navratilova. “There have been many times when I was playing that I wanted to break my racket into a thousand pieces. Then I thought about the kids watching. And I grudgingly held on to that racket.”


“Had I behaved like that on a tennis court, I would have expected to get everything that happened to Serena,” Navratilova said. “It should’ve ended … with the point warning, but Serena just couldn’t let it go.”

Although the tennis star admitted there was a double standard between male and female players, she claims it is not an excuse for bad behavior.

“I don’t believe it’s a good idea to apply a standard of ‘If men can get away with it, women should be able to, too.’ Rather, I think the question we have to ask ourselves is this: What is the right way to behave to honor our sport and to respect our opponents?”

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