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Serena Williams Fined Record Penalty For Unsportsmanlike Behavior at the US Open

Serena's Potty Mouth Sets Record Fines

At this year's US Open one of the more unforgettable moments involved Serena Williams screaming obscenities at a line judge over a foot fault call. Despite a heartfelt apology, Williams has been fined $82,500 for the incident and has been put on probation for the next two years.

The ruling, handed down by the Grand Slam committee, is the largest fine ever for a Grand Slam offense. This title was previously held by Jeff Tarango, who was fined $48,000 in the '90s for walking off a Wimbledon match and verbally attacking an umpire. If Williams incurs another "major offense" at a Grand Slam in the next two years, she will be suspended from the US Open in 2010, 2011, or 2012, and her fine will increase to $175,000.

In case you missed it, Serena told the line judge: "I'm going to shove this [expletive] ball down your [expletive] throat."  Williams also swatted her racket at the judge's general direction and used finger-jabbing to reinforce her point. At the time, the display of behavior cost Williams $10,000 — the maximum penalty a player can receive on site. The onsite penalty fine will be deducted from the current ruling.

The maximum fine of $175,000 was chosen because it is the difference in winnings between reaching the quarter finals and semifinals in the US Open.

Image Source: Getty
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Join The Conversation
Spectra Spectra 6 years
I think she deserved the fine, too. It's never acceptable to verbally assault someone, even if you're angry about a call they made. If she had simply screamed an expletive randomly and tossed her racket, it wouldn't be quite as bad...you have to draw the line when you get officials involved.
ekstor ekstor 6 years
Example... I'm of Asian heritage. Do you know how many times I was referred to as "Oriental" growing up? Oriental is used to describe objects, not people. Yet I've seen other of Asian background get offended instead of taking the time to clarify what was meant when it was stated. If we're making snap judgments based upon the exact word used and not the true intent, then we've become overly legalistic in our measures and are much more prone to divide than to unify. If you prefer to call people out as racists b/c they may unknowingly use the word "thug" or "ghetto" in a way that differs from the official definition, then I can't stop you, but for at least a few others on this board, it's obvious that others did not share the same understanding as you and Lauren did.
Askimoli Askimoli 6 years
Please give me a break Ekstor, people need to say what they mean and mean what they say. See you backtracking now talking about it's the "intent rather than the perception." If you don't know what a word means DO NOT USE IT, I cannot begin to guess what a person is thinking when they type, I can only try to understand based on the meaning of the words they use. Next time you, and every other person who feels the need to type in the heat of the moment, will think twice or three times before using certain words.
ekstor ekstor 6 years
Lauren, while I certainly appreciate the official definition of those words, there is a difference between the true intent of someone using that word versus your perception. You're using the book definition to stereo-type the person who chooses to use it, not knowing whether their intent is truly racial or not. I suggest you be careful to do the very thing you accuse others of doing.
1apple 1apple 6 years
I've never heard of "thug" used as a racist term. I always thought a thug was someone trying to bully another person, especially with their size. The word "ghetto" is questionable though - like the now common useage of "retarded" or "gay". Anyway, anyone who says what Serena said on the court deserves a fine!!!
ekstor ekstor 6 years
Well stated KTSmith... I don't think any of us thought to associate those words with Serena's ethnicity. Lauren, perhaps it's time for you to examine your own impulses and assumptions. As for the comparison to McEnroe, his behavior was unacceptable as well, but let's not paint this black and white, while McEnroe threw his fair number of rackets on the ground and accompanied them with many an obscenity, never do I recall that racket getting tossed in the direction of an official and never do I recall an obscenity used with a threat of physical harm. There's a difference between an immature and unprofessional tantrum and outright vulgar behavior. Serena crossed that.
nesterchick nesterchick 6 years
Can't believe she said that stuff, even though I like her, generally speaking. Glad she got the fine - that's unacceptable court behavior. I myself don't think that a fine was enough punishment for this behavior. steroids
soapbox soapbox 6 years
I think it's a fair outcome.
1apple 1apple 6 years
Can't believe she said that stuff, even though I like her, generally speaking. Glad she got the fine - that's unacceptable court behavior.
SaucySassy SaucySassy 6 years
So ghetto.
hausfrau hausfrau 6 years
Total BS. McEnroe got more publicity and commercial deals out of his tantrums. Sexist. Plain and simple.
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