Why Is Serena Williams Such An Easy Target?

Players have their share of fans and haters, but Serena Williams gets way more venom doled out to her than anyone else in tennis.

Serena Williams

Russian Tennis Federation President Shamil Tarpischev has been suspended for a year by the Women's Tennis Association for his insensitive dig at Serena and Venus Williams.

Tarpischev referred to Serena and her sister Venus as the "Williams brothers" on the Russian late-night television show Evening Urgant, and stated it's "frightening when [you] look at them."

"I thought they were very insensitive and extremely sexist as well as racist at the same time," said Serena Williams.

"I thought they were, in a way, bullying. I just wasn't very happy with his comments. I think a lot of people weren't happy as well."

She is right -- the comments were unfair as well as hurtful.

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The American professional tennis player is currently ranked No. 1 in women's singles tennis. Her sister Venus may be on No. 19 now, but is a former World No. 1 Tennis champion.

Unfortunately it is not the first time the Williams sisters have been attacked like this. They seem to be at the receiving end of endless puns, slurs and jokes.

Serena Williams, more than her sister is at the end of these hateful reactions. There are memes, jokes and even Facebook pages dedicated to hating her.

Serena Williams

Serena Williams

Serena Williams

Serena Williams

Why is she hated so?

She is a strong woman and outspoken -- two things that generally do not sit well with small-minded people. In addition, things like her animosity with Sloane Stephens and Maria Sharapova as well as her vocal disregard of the game that has made her a champion certainly don’t endear her to tennis fans and give plenty of fodder to her haters.

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Former No. 1 professional tennis player John McEnroe says the Williams sisters have bad attitude and lack respect and humility.  

“What they have achieved is great, but they have no respect for anyone in the game,” he wrote in an article.

“Would it kill them to say hello to people in the locker room?” he asked.

Amazingly, he is remembered not only for his first class game, but being the bad boy of tennis as well.

USA Today senior sports blog editor Chris Chase also has some input. He thinks of Williams as narcissistic and incapable of being self-reflective and self-critical. 

Then there are unfortunate comments from the public like the following:

“It shows what an idiot she really is. Because if it weren't for sport, she'd be sitting on her increasingly fat bum, watching the shopping channel, buying cheap junk, because she became too fat to leave the house !....(and I have no doubt her expensive "Tastes" are as bad as anyone else's poor tastes).........She's vile !”- Scar City

“No amount of shopping or trying to act feminine could change the fact that she looks like a beast!” ­- DanielaCG

“She plays because she's built like a man and can over power the other woman playing. She's a fat piece of trash and proved it with her comment. - Chris.Klarner

Yes, she can be aggressive and competitive and she may thrive on controversy but does that give anyone the right to mock her for her physical appearance or insult her?

But then people do and get away with it -- until now. Action against Shamil Tarpischev is a promising sign. Hopefully it will give rise to more responsible attitude from people toward others.

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