No one should ever have to appologize for their accomplishments
While everyone is shifting blame for the anticlimactic victory of this young, talented tennis player to the supposedly overcritical umpire, I believe there are more people to blame:
- Carlos Ramos certainly played a role in contributing to the game turning sour by ticking off Serena Williams and consequently the crowd with is judgement calls. I don't know enough about tennis to know whether his ruling were wrong.
- Serena's coach Patrick Mouratoglou is another person we can point a finger at as he definitely, and later also admitted, coached her during the game.
- Serena also shares part of the blame in my opinion by making the event about her being treated unfairly. Osaka was clearly the better player and no lack of judgement calls against her would have changed that. It was obvious she was losing and don't get me started on her implying that she would never cheat because she is a mother ("I have a daughter and I stand what's right for her" - what lame argument is that? - but that's a post for another time). I also find it laughable that she is celebrated for telling the crowd to stop booing. Honestly, I think that's the least she could do that day.
- The largest chunk of the blame, in my opinion, however goes to the crowd. You wanted Serena to win, well tough luck, Naomi Osaka was the better player. Suck it up! Your hero doesn't always win. This was no Marvel movie. Naomi kicked ass! Period!
Watching her hide in shame behind her visor during the trophy ceremony broke my heart. She was embarrased for beating Serena Williams and she apologized to the crowd for winning. She APPOLOGIZED! Let that sink in! This 20-year old reached a phenomenal milestone in her young career and she was unable to be happy about it!
But what made the situation even sadder was that she said in her victory speech that this was the first time her mom came to see her play and her dad has never been to any of her games. What?!?! "It means a lot for her to watch my matches because she normally doesn't do that anyways. We are missing my dad because he doesn't physically watch my matches, so I see him later." I was floored when she said that! Just because parents give their financial support doesn't mean they get to opt-out of showing emotional support. Your child plays kick-ass tennis (or is the third angel from the left in play), you sit your ass down and watch and fucking applaud!
Have you ever had something happen in your life when you achieved something great and you wanted nothing more than someone putting a hand on your shoulder and saying 'I am proud of you'? Fricking gut-wrentching, right? Unfortunately, I myself had many of those moments and it is still one of the strongest pains I carry in me. I am fourty years old and it still hurts and is one of the main reasons why I had to LEARN to be proud of my achievements and even DARE to be happy about accomplishing something.
I can't shake the feeling that Naomi would have been able to hold her head higher had she learned to be proud of her achievements and not feel the need to seek approval of strangers (the booing audience) to be allowed to be happy about her victory.
Whether you are are a world class athlete or not, please know that you (yes, you!) are an incredible person who can be proud of whatever you choose to be proud of. Love yourself! You are worthy of love and praise! Consider this your verbal hand on your shoulder!