Tennis star and legend Serena Williams has been fined a total of $17,000 for three code violations during a controversy-marred US Open 2018 final on September 8. The figure is a sum of $10,000 for 'verbal abuse' of the chair umpire Carlos Ramos, $4,000 for a warning of coaching and $3,000 for angrily breaking her racket.
Williams had lost the final 6-2, 6-4 to Japan's Naomi Osaka but the game made the headlines for her allegation that Ramos treated her differently than he would a male player.
"I've seen other men call other umpires several things. I'm here fighting for women's rights and for women's equality and for all kinds of stuff. For me to say 'thief,' and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark. He's never taken a game from a man because they said 'thief,'" Williams said at her news conference.
"For me, it blows my mind," Williams said. "But I'm going to continue to fight for women."
Earlier, as Williams pleaded her case on the court with tournament referee Brian Earley, calling the penalties unfair, she said: "Because you're a woman, you're going to take this away from me?"
"There's a lot of men out here that have said a lot of things," Williams said, "and because they are men, that doesn't happen."
The fine is nothing compared to the $1.85 million she earned as the prize money at the tournament but what the incident shows is that the US star is a flagbearer for women empowerment and the fight against sexism in an unfair world.
(With AP inputs)