She has been railed on by the sports media. They have called her "classless" and "graceless," "sullen" and "sulking." Yep, I am talking about one of my fave tennis stars, Serena Williams and her sorry press conference after losing her quarterfinal match at the US Open.
If you have played competitive sports, or even a wicked game of backgammon, and lost (which inevitably happens if you play games), then you know it is hard to lose. You give it your all, you play the best you can and some days it just isn't enough. Losing with grace, though, is still part of the game. Serena even told reporters:
I really don't feel like talking about it [the match]. It's like I don't want to get fined. That's the only reason I came [to the press conference]. I can't afford to pay the fines because I keep losing.
Not really a stellar postmortem on the match, would you say? Serena lost the match to Justine Henin who just so happens to be ranked #1 in women's tennis right now. So when you lose, and lose to the best, you just need to admit you played your best and your opponent unfortunately played even better. Fans forgive losses quickly, but bad attitudes linger. We love players that show their emotions and get fired up on the court or field, but bad sportsmanship just has a bad aftertaste.
It doesn't matter if you win or lose. It is how you played the game...and how you act afterward!