Did sexism play a role in Serena Williams' loss at the US Open?
A new Statistics Views article examines whether sexism played a role in what took place in the final round of the women's singles at the 2018 US Open, when American tennis superstar Serena Williams was fined for three code violations that caused her to be penalized during a game when she criticized the umpire for a controversial call and labeled him a "thief."
The article points to several studies revealing that women are disciplined and discredited for expressing anger, suggesting that the umpire may have penalized Williams to a degree that he would not have done if a man had acted the same way. This does not make it acceptable to act inappropriately on the tennis court, but it does point to the need to look at inherent biases and how they might influence not just tennis matches, but people's entire livelihoods.
"I was just really curious as to whether there was any research to back up Serena's claims," said Allison Goldstein, the article's author. "And the answer is kind of yes-and-no. Sexism is so hard to prove in any tangible, numeric way. I hope this incident at least raises the possibility in people's minds."