Naomi Osaka, Haitian and Japanese tennis player playing for Japan, defeated Serena Williams in a controversial U.S. Open final.
In the Socamom Facebook Group, we have themed days, and today is Spiritual Sunday. In today’s welcome video, I share my thoughts on fairness, and the consequences of teaching our children that life is not fair.
The times that life was unfair still burn to think about. I didn’t share them on the video, because even over thirty years later, they make my eyes burn and start to well up. Seems silly, but we carry these unfair moments with us, and they are often the hardest to shake.
I usually share a story about myself in my welcome video, but how silly would it be for me to be weepy about losing a speech contest in the fifth grade? I still remember the parent who left for the restroom and missed the announcement of the winner for the declamation contest. I had my jacket on and was walking out of the door behind my parents. He congratulated me on my win. He, and other parents in attendance assumed that I won, and each time they offered their congratulations, I had to smile and tell them, “no, I actually lost.” the looks on their faces… and then the “I’m sorry, hun.”
How ridiculous would it look for me to have my good mascara running down my face telling you about that time that I was Junior Champion at field day, so they just skipped the awards ceremony altogether. I went up to them as they cleared the awards table, and mentioned that I wasn’t named Junior Champion, and they dug the medal from a box in the corner and handed it to me with not so much as a “my bad.”
When you work hard for something, and you are treated unfairly – whether it is at school, in the workplace, or playing a sport. It stings.
My son played travel soccer on an essentially all white team, and was one of the smallest. His teammates would hit him, hard sometimes, and then say things like, “you can take it, you’re black, aren’t black people tough?” or “well you could have just run faster so you didn’t get hit – black people are fast runners.” In games, he had to rely on skill, because he couldn’t touch anyone or else he’d get a yellow or a red card. Forget talking trash. He just had to be quiet, and be good.
I will admit I have said worse and not gotten penalized. And I’ve also been given a “soft warning” by the ump where they tell you knock it off or I will have to give you a violation. He should have at least given her that courtesy. Sad to mar a well played final that way. https://t.co/xhBzFZX8Wq
— James Blake (@JRBlake) September 9, 2018
I am sure Serena and her coach had no idea that this was the way that they would lose the U.S. Open. Serena had lost to Naomi before, but not like this.
Naomi played her best and deserved this win. She was amazing, but nobody – not the fans, Serena, or Naomi ever want a match to end while they wondered what could have been if everything had been fair.
Hi everybody! This is Eva from Socamom.com and I am really glad that you are here with me today. If you are watching this on Youtube, please like, subscribe and hit the notifications, so that you can find out when our next video will be posted.
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So, yesterday some of you may have watched the U.S. Open. I know I did. I was in New Jersey for the Newark International Film Festival. I had gone there to see my cousin Teria’s film, she has a short film called Instance. If you want to hear about that and possibly go to a screening at another film festival, please check out her instagram, I’ll have a link in the description down below. But while we were waiting for the movie to start, we had gone over across the street to applebee’s, and we were watching it on the screen at the bar. So – my kids – you might hear some noise, some screaming, some yelling, somthing like that, but right now, they are catching up on it on the DVR. They had it recorded because they knew they wouldn’t be there to watch it. So they’re getting filled in on all the drama and why everybody is all up in arms about the match between Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka.
Many of us were watching it, and Serena fans were pretty disappointed. I happen to be a fan of Serena Williams and I was disappointed. Before I get started, I will say a HUGE congratulations to Naomi Osaka. She is Haitian and Japanese. She was playing for Japan. This is Japan’s first U.S. Open win, so congratulations. This is Naomi’s first win, again, congratulations. We are so so very proud of you, and to see that as the final? It’s huge. It’s huge for women of color. I’m sure it’s huge for Japan. It’s huge for America. It’s huge for black women, so congratulations to both ladies. Everybody played their heart out.
Today, I would like to talk with you about fairness. This is a topic for me that can get emotional. So I’m going to try to keep it together. If I don’t keep it together, I’m gonna edit it out. It is what it is.
Many of us growing up were told that life’s not fair. If something happens to you, and you say, “that’s not fair,” the first thing that an adult, your parent, your grandparent, the first thing their going to say is, “well, life’s not fair.” But, what I believe, now as a parent looking back on it – as a parent who has often said, “well, you know what, life’s not fair.” That should not be the end of the statement.
Some things happened during the U.S. Open, that ended up – I’m not going to say costing her the match, because can’t predict the future, we don’t know if she was going to win or if she wasn’t going to win – but she did not have the chance. She did not have a fair opportunity to show whether or not she could win, whether or not she could come back. It was unfair. And I wouldn’t say that the match itself was unfair – I would say the treatment was unfair.
If the same thing happened to a man, or if the same thing was done by a man, or was done in previous matches, it was not punished in the same way. So eventually, right or wrong, you start to believe in this myth of equality and fairness, eventually in sports. And then, you get this kind of reality check that says you know what – like your mom said, like your dad said, like your teacher said, “life’s not fair.”
I don’t believe that should be the end to that statement. I believe there should be more to the statement, “Life’s not fair,” because it’s true – it IS a true statement. However, at the end of that, when you’re talking to your children, your students, your mentees, and you have to prepare them for the fact that life is not fair, please add on the statement, “but it should be.” Because it leaves it open for that person to change the way that the world is – the way that life is.
So let’s just say that you’ve been taught, your whole life, that life is not fair, and you’ve been on the receiving end of that unfairness, the entire time. Let’s say you have an opportunity to be just, to be fair, to champion equality. Let’s say that you have that opportunity. But in the back of your head, you’ve been taught that life is not fair. You have been telling your children, your co-workers – whenever something goes on that isn’t right, you’ve been telling them, “well, life is not fair.”
You’ve been repeating that to yourself, until it becomes part of who you are, and part of what YOUR believe. And then it becomes part of your value system. And then when you have the opportunity to be fair, you feel like you don’t have to be. You know why?
You now believe that life is not fair.
So if it’s a fact that life is not fair, why do YOU have to be fair? Why do you have to give everyone the same opportunity that everyone [else] has? Why do you have to do that if you’ve been taught and everybody says, life is not fair.
When things happen that are unfair, it’s not just for that moment. It’s not just for that person. It’s not just for that thing that happened at that time. It’s not just a moment of disappointment for one person who was treated unfairly. A prime example of that is what happened last night. Because those should have been tears of joy that Naomi was crying. She did an amazing thing.
When I tell you I was like… OOOOOOO… when some of those shots went by, I was like OH! This girl did not come to play, she came to win. And got out there, and she did her thing, and she deserved the same opportunity that Serena Williams had. And Serena Williams deserved the opportunity to try to beat her.
When the judge was unfair, it did not only rob Serena of her opportunity to come back or to win, or to try her best, to possibly walk away with that trophy. She was not the only casualty of that judges unfairness. Because of the bias and the way that Serena was treated (that’s a whole other video), but it’s a real bias. Things that other players got away with or other coaches got away with or during other matches – it wasn’t the same for her. But she wasn’t the only one who lost out here.
Naomi Osaka lost out on her opportunity to feel like a champion. To be celebrated like a champion. She will forever hear the boos. Can you imagine that? It’s your first U.S. Open, and your victory is met with boos from the crowd?
And I will give it to Serena, it was beautiful when she hugged her afterwards. That is something that almost took me out… it had me all choked up. She knows what it’s like to win and be booed. She was met with boos coming on the court, and left with a trophy to boos, so she knows what that thing feels like.
More than one person lost yesterday. When you have the opportunity to share with a mentee or a family member – if they feel like they haven’t been treated fairly – something has happened to make them feel that the playing field is not level, and you are the one to tell them, “you know, hey, life is not fair,” please make sure that you tell them, immediately after that, “but it should be.”
Life should be fair. It isn’t, but it should be.
So it’s Spiritual Sunday. I’m a Christian, and I have some verses that I’ve put in the description below that you can reference when you’re talking about fairness with your family and friends. When you’re sharing with your children why they should be fair, please reference those scriptures down below. I have the chapters and the verse, and a quote of the scriptures, so that you can read them and share them.
Thank you so much for joining me on this spiritual Sunday. Again, if you are in the Facebook group and you’re new, please comment down below and tell us a little bit about yourself. If you’ve been in the Facebook group for a while, comment down below and welcome our new members. If you’re watching from Youtube, please like, subscribe, and hit the bell to get the notifications so that you will be here for all of our new videos when they come out. Take care and have a fantastic week. Bye!
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Verses on Fairness: https://www.openbible.info/topics/fairness
Proverbs 31:9 ESV – Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Hebrews 6:10 ESV – For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.
Ecclesiastes 9:11 ESV – Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.
Psalm 106:3 ESV – Blessed are they who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times!
Matthew 20:16 ESV – So the last will be first, and the first last.”
1 Peter 3:8 ESV – Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.
Galatians 3:28 ESV – There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Romans 2:11 ESV – For God shows no partiality.
Micah 6:8 ESV – He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
James 2:1 ESV – My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.
Mark 12:28-31 ESV – And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Proverbs 16:8 ESV – Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues with injustice.