Stand with Serena

International Tennis Federation

The US Open final between Serena Williams and Naomi Ōsaka was an opportunity to celebrate two black women at the top of professional tennis. Instead, the electric and career-defining game was wrested by a man on the sidelines. Umpire Carlos Ramos imposed a series of warnings and penalties on Williams that disrupted the game and eclipsed the victory from ultimate champion Ōsaka. This game was a clear illustration of sexist double standards in tennis. Men are often coached, break rackets, and joust with umpires without consequence. In the era of Time’s Up and #MeToo women are no longer waiting to be believed, but demanding to be recognized within a community of support from other women with shared experiences.

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Women’s March Black Leadership Action Coalition (WM-BLAC) compels consistent and strategic action on behalf of black women's dignity throughout the calendar year, while offering leadership, empowerment and support for important issues that directly affect black women.

To: International Tennis Federation
From: [Your Name]

I stand with the black women’s leadership across Women’s March through Women’s March Black Leadership Action Coalition (WM-BLAC) in denouncing the actions of umpire Carlos Ramos as sexist and racist in his handling of the September 8 US Open final between Serena Williams and Naomi Ōsaka. We demand that the $17,000 penalty charges be expunged of the $10,000 charge for verbal abuse and the $4,000 charge for coaching. We also call for US Open final umpire Carlos Ramos be investigated for gender and racial bias. Finally we demand for an independent commission to investigate gender and racial bias in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and for resolute anti-bias regulations and training to be passed at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in 2019.*

*As stated on the International Tennis Federation (ITF) website: “The main forum for the National Associations is the Annual General Meeting (AGM) where major policy initiatives and topics of current controversy or concern are debated and decided. Any amendments to the Rules of the ITF, the Rules of Tennis or the regulations of the major ITF competitions have to be passed by the AGM. The AGM takes place in a different country each year and all National Associations may send delegates, although only full member nations are entitled to vote. The 2017 AGM took place in Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam on 1-4 August while the 2018 AGM will be held in Orlando, Florida on 13-16 August.”