Monday, September 14, 2009

JMO - Serena Williams

Ok, everyone has a view on her too. She and her sister, seems to make people love or hate them. I don't hate them, because I don't know them personally, only by their tennis and the news stories about them, but I'm far from liking either of them. As a professional athlete, there's no doubt of their abilities and success. As a people and especially women, from what I've seen over the years, they could use some lesson in humility and humanity.

I was listening to the sports shows on ESPN about events of the day and her explosion against a line judge. Some excuse her for being an intense competitor, not unlike John McEnroe, and because of her talent and intensity she should be excused. Some said she deserves to be denied her winnings at the US Open this year and a suspension from the US Open next year. And some said split the difference.

To me, she not that different than her sister. They're both intense athletes who have dominated women's tennis for years. They're not the best ever, they're just outragously arrogant about themselves. They believe they're the best and the don't mind acting like it. Which is what Serena did to the line judge. She didn't just lose her anger, she verbally abused and physically intimated a line judge.

In that regard, she deserves the worst punishment possible. It was, however, the last point of the match and she lost the championship anyway. But the worse is that she took away a great win for Kim Cljister. That's my outrage at her and her actions. I've met enough arrogant people over the years, and I haven't met one I liked after the first meeting.

Arrogance, as the psychologists will tell you, is a common behavior and expression. It's confidence to the extreme. Confidence is good to help person know and trust their own knowledge, experience, skills, etc. It's when confidence exceeds reality and being a human being, it becomes arrogance, and you've lost your internal checks and balances.

You've lost your own reality check. And that's why most people dislike and even hate arrogant people. It's addictive and they feel and use it beyond their limits and then use it to mask their failures and lash out at everyone else for those failures. I have no doubt Serena blames the line judge for her loss. She thinks she should win every set and every match.

And for her arrogance we can only look at her parents. In the interviews and stories I've seen and read, they were very driven parents with the daughters and tennis. I heard this in their comments early in the careers of Venus and Serena, really WTF moments that they had already announced their girls as the best, above even the best then. Confidence run amuck and over the cliff.

And so I have no sympathy or empathy for either of them. They've had good careers in tennis, and they're good players, but good professional athletes? No even close. And yes, I hope she loses her winings on top of the fine and is suspended from next year's play. She needs that reality check. It won't make her a human being, but sometimes the best you can do is hit them hard enough to get their attention.

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