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Reader Opinion: Not her finest hour

As an advocate for women and a tennis fan, I have to respectfully disagree with Billie Jean King's Guest Opinion of Sept. 11, defending Serena Williams behavior at the U.S. Open final. Yes, Serena was given a code violation, not typically leveled during a final. But ask any tennis, basketball, football player if unfair penalties are part of their reality and they'll respond with a resounding yes. At a call she felt unfair, Serena exploded in anger at the chair umpire. Yes, male tennis players tee off at umpires, all too frequently, but in time, the player backs off and continues the game. Serena did not. She continued to harangue and, yes, hurl abuse at the umpire, anger fueled, I suspect, from losing to a younger player. Should the antiquated coaching rule, be changed? Yes. Are women athletes treated differently than males? It happens. But there's a time and place to address these issues. Serena's temper tantrum took away a joyful celebration for 20-year-old Naomi Osaka who amazingly kept her cool for the win. Over the years, Serena has lead the tennis world with her skill and passion for the game, but this wasn't her finest hour.

Meg Douglas