FanDuel - WFBC

March 29, 2007

"The guy said, 'Hit the net like any Negro would.'" : Serena Williams battled both Lucie Safarova and a racist heckler to win her third-round match at the Sony Ericcson Open on Monday, before going on to hand Maria Sharapova a 6-1, 6-1 defeat in the final on Tuesday.

posted by lil_brown_bat to tennis at 08:26 AM - 41 comments

I saw video of this incident, not the heckling, just the fall out. The fan a few rows behind this guys is pointing at him to say "this is the fool doing the heckling." I'm surprised the umpire didn't say anything. At the U.S. Open, they are constantly shushing anyone who yells once play is about to start.

posted by bperk at 08:56 AM on March 29

Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer my racism based on sensible stereotypes. I'm missing the net reference.

posted by yerfatma at 09:16 AM on March 29

yerfatma, I think stereotype is "black people can't play tennis", and that the guy was saying, "Play tennis like a black person and hit the ball into the net." (Also, Serena has a quaint/genteel turn of phrase from time to time -- she's the only living person I've ever heard of using the term "bosom" -- so I'm guessing there's a possibility that the word the guy used was not "Negro". But I have absolutely no evidence of that.)

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:21 AM on March 29

I think stereotype is "black people can't play tennis" Considering that Serena along with her sister Venus, have won a few championships in tennis, if that's actually what the guy meant, he's way off base.

posted by BornIcon at 09:27 AM on March 29

When I saw the video of the aftermath of this, I immediately thought back to Monica Seles. Scary stuff. I'm not really a big Serena fan, but I was glad she put the smackdown on to make the idiot's distractions ineffective.

posted by olelefthander at 09:34 AM on March 29

I'm not a fan of the Williams sisters,but was quite glad Serena won afterwards,as I hate prejudice of ANY kind whatsoever.

posted by LadyGen at 09:38 AM on March 29

Considering that Serena along with her sister Venus, have won a few championships in tennis, if that's actually what the guy meant, he's way off base. Or a few years out of date. Tennis has a history of being a country-club sport, played exclusively by members of the upper classes, which (at least in the US) meant almost exclusively white. Recent decades have seen some exceptional examples who came up as public-court players (BJ King comes to mind, and of course the Williams sisters as well), but the association is still there. Like most stereotypes, this one has outlived its reality.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:38 AM on March 29

What's most disappointing is that this guy probably thinks he's funny. Goddamn, no - you're not funny. You sir, are a grade-A asshat.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:53 AM on March 29

He said what? Golf is also considered a "COUNTRY-CLUB SPORT" and as a Mayflower Yankee & a Jamestown Virginian if they don't wan't AMERICANS like the Williams sisters or Tiger Woods well I just say SCREW THEM.

posted by thatch at 10:03 AM on March 29

Hey Weedy, I've heard of an assclown, what's an asshat? They make hats for asses? Wait, nevermind, I've seen George Bush rockin' a hat so....

posted by BornIcon at 10:49 AM on March 29

Goddamn, no - you're not funny. You sir, are a grade-A asshat. You don't have to be a racist to illicit that response. I get it all the time.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 11:05 AM on March 29

Has the Grade A a**hat not heard of Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe? But that would probably require taking our a** out of the hat. Oh well, the lengths one goes to remain ignorant.....

posted by yzelda4045 at 11:12 AM on March 29

This event is just further (unneeded) evidence that there is no limit to people's stupidy. Just when you think you've seen it all, you haven't.

posted by sickleguy at 11:21 AM on March 29

I immediately thought back to Monica Seles. Scary stuff. Really makes you think.

posted by yerfatma at 11:37 AM on March 29

BornIcon, as far as I know, asshat is an Internet construct -- a phrase that isn't quite swearing that takes the place of stronger words in online forums that screen for language. ESPN reported this morning that the guy's been identified and admits yelling a bunch of stuff but denies the N-word.

posted by ajaffe at 11:54 AM on March 29

Thanks ajaffe but I was only kiddin'- I appreciate the info though.

posted by BornIcon at 11:57 AM on March 29

I do like the use of "assclown," though. Very evocative -- of what, exactly, I'm not sure.

posted by ajaffe at 12:29 PM on March 29

Yeah, assclown is on top of my list as well. Chris Jericho of WWE fame and from the band Fozzy was actually the first person I heard use that. Not sure if he created that phrase or not though.

posted by BornIcon at 12:33 PM on March 29

I'm pretty sure "assclown" was coined by Mike Judge for Office Space.

posted by Skot at 12:40 PM on March 29

I am so tired of "race" being brought into anything. i.e., so and so was the first "black" to win the event. Why do the sports writers have to bring that up? I would be thrilled to just see the winners listed with their name and accomplishments as an athlete. Let's all grow up and get real!!!!!

posted by terribleteddy at 01:43 PM on March 29

I am so tired of "race" being brought into anything. i.e., so and so was the first "black" to win the event. Why do the sports writers have to bring that up? Maybe if the heckler had left race out of it, the press would have been able to do the same. Instead, the heckler made an issue of it; at that point, the writers are just reporting the news. (BTW, teddy, you could try reading the article, or even just the FPP -- it would have made your question unnecessary)

posted by lil_brown_bat at 02:32 PM on March 29

Teddy, WTH are you talking about? The link posted is about race. No one injected it into the topic. Geez, even when a link involving racism is posted, some "asshat" comes into a thread CLEARLY about racism and says: I am so tired of "race" being brought into anything. i.e., so and so was the first "black" to win the event. Why do the sports writers have to bring that up? You're the guy from the tennis match aren't you? As far as your comment about the first "Black PERSON" to win an event goes, the sad part is that there are still firsts. I can see your type now, when the first African American or woman is elected President. You'll be yelling what's the big deal, the south will rise again!!

posted by Bishop at 02:42 PM on March 29

You'll be yelling what's the big deal, the south will rise again!! Unless he's from the north, or the west, or a different country. Atlanta is the biggest city in the south; black woman as mayor, african american police chief. You can find ignorant people with that attitude everywhere. I'm not saying he isn't from the south, but assuming he's southern isn't a far stretch from the sweeping generalizations that help feed racism.

posted by justgary at 02:53 PM on March 29

I agree, asshats come from all over. There are also grade B asshats. Just an FYI.

posted by sumokenobi at 04:33 PM on March 29

I can see your type now, when the first African American or woman is elected President. You'll be yelling what's the big deal, the south will rise again!! Stereotype much?! I say you had some punk who normally goes to a football game, gets drunk, and talks sh** to the oppossing team just because they can. They are everywhere. I say chalk it up as another stupid occurance and move on. The more it is brought up, the more people like that think that they can affect others by acting in that manner. Btw, Thankfully I am from the South!

posted by dejoy09 at 05:04 PM on March 29

I say you had some punk who normally goes to a football game, gets drunk, and talks sh** to the oppossing team just because they can. They are everywhere. Yeah, like there was the time at the '05 US Open when chico and goddam and I got really shitfaced and started screaming, "James Blake is a silly bald fucker! And he's a NEGRO, too!" In all seriousness, there really is no comparison between the conduct expected of fans at a tennis match and the conduct allowed of fans at a football game. The racist remark was what caught everyone's attention, but the fan's conduct was quite far out of line without that -- you do not yell out, "Foot fault!", you do not applaud errors, etc. And as for getting drunk? Hey, I'm not LeBron James, and my budget doesn't extend to getting drunk at tennis tournament prices.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 05:37 PM on March 29

Btw, Thankfully I am from the South! You know, you're really not helping.

posted by justgary at 05:46 PM on March 29

It never ceases to amaze me.the amount of ignorant,racist,idiots in the world.it's obvious that this loser has nothing better in his life to do than start trouble.this guy needs to get a life.black,white,asian,whatever.nobody's better that anybody.everybody dies.

posted by mars1 at 07:09 PM on March 29

The south will rise again!! I saw that in a movie. Some rebel flag t-shirt wearing, jr. KKK guy was yelling it. I didn't assume Teddy was from the south, only that he supported such beliefs (in an exaggerated manner because of the way he said "the first black" and didn't say "person"). It's a saying I've heard more than once referencing the rise and the reconstitution of the confederate army/States. Not the entire south, only those parts which chose to fight what they called "northern aggression", (or for their right to keep slavery legal). I am also aware of it's other references.

posted by Bishop at 11:11 PM on March 29

Hopefully, when the south does rise again, it will have shaken off the racist dingbats that still occupy large swaths of it. And the 'skeeters.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 06:04 AM on March 30

Has the Grade A a**hat not heard of Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe? But that would probably require taking our a** out of the hat. That's as genteel a comment as I have ever seen on SpoFi... unless a** means something really filthy that I have never heard of before.

posted by psmealey at 07:29 AM on March 30

you do not applaud errors I agree that it's poor form, but I have seen this behavior on many an occasion, particularly at Lleyton Hewitt matches.

posted by psmealey at 07:40 AM on March 30

Thanks, psmealey, a**hat does indeed mean what Weedy said. My mother does not allow me to use profanity. :-)

posted by yzelda4045 at 07:54 AM on March 30

I agree that it's poor form, but I have seen this behavior on many an occasion, particularly at Lleyton Hewitt matches. Well, yeah, I've seen it many times too -- it's not unheard of. My point was that there is a standard relating to this that doesn't exist at an NFL game. The NFL equivalent, I suppose, would be applauding when a player on the opposing team gets hurt -- which happens, just as applauding an error in a tennis match happens, but it gets you labeled as a jerk.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:58 AM on March 30

Your momma raised you right, yzelda4045.

posted by psmealey at 09:16 AM on March 30

"My mother does not allow me to use profanity" Does that include reading profanity because these fuckers on here don't now how to watch their goddamn, shitty ass mouths. Just so you know~

posted by BornIcon at 12:44 PM on March 30

Thanks, BornIcon. (ROFL) Thats one of the reasons I joined Sportsfilter after reading it for awhile, to keep up with the latest potty mouth language, i.e. a**hat. (chuckle) Besides, the words do not bruise my ears so if they are written. Bad grammar and punctuation do much more damage to my eyes...

posted by yzelda4045 at 01:16 PM on March 30

Talkin' to you, Luther and mars1. OOPS, sorrry. Did it myself there.

posted by THX-1138 at 01:53 PM on March 30

Asshat and clusterfuck, two fine words in the SpoFi lexicon.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 06:59 PM on March 30

Ah, yes, but assterfuck is one word, encompassing all.

posted by psmealey at 10:40 PM on March 30

But can the @$$Hats ClusterF*ck?

posted by Folkways at 01:01 PM on April 03

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