There are many opinions floating about this week after Serena Williams’ angry outburst in the final of the US Open.
But there is no getting away from initial reactions to her emotional actions, which was condemnation infinitely stronger than any levelled at a tantrum-prone male player, ever.
Was she unprofessional in her anger?
Yes, she was.
Did she deserve some sort of penalty?
Yes, she did.
But was the 23-Grand Slam champion punished disproportionately?
Also yes but not by the umpire.
Williams, beaten in straight sets by Naomi Osaka, was docked a game for verbal abuse,after already earning a point penalty for smashing her racquet and a code violation for coaching.
She reacted emotionally in the pressure-cooker of the final with her 'bad loser' actions but certainly no more so than players ranging from John McEnroe, Jeff Tarango or Michael Youzhny, to give just a few examples of fiery tempered champs.
But safe to say, while Serena was widely shamed and mocked, male players tend to be tolerated and treated with fond despair rather than labelled a diva - something that sums up the double-standards which still apply across the board in life.
Critics have gone even further than this, saying the treatment she was dished out by media, social and official, after the event played into the ‘black girl’ stereotype.
Whatever it was, it wasn’t pleasant and was not good enough in our day and age.
Diva-dom is not a female issue, it’s a stereotype and one which is surely outdated in a world gradually moving on in tolerance toward difference.
We clearly have a long way to go.
But what IS refreshing is that after initial reactions subsided, many came out fighting on behalf of Serena, but mainly on behalf of women and black women treated unfairly - and a lot of those were men and professional players.
It’s like most people do know really but reacting in a certain way is so ingrained in habits and social interactions, it happens anyway, by default.
You may think there’s no issue here, but you ‘cannot be serious’.
This is my opinion and I'm happy to hear what YOU think...