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Serena Williams Slams Pro Tennis for ‘Punishing’ Her for Taking Maternity Leave

On the day of International Women’s Day, Williams also accused pro tennis of being sexist.

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Tennis star Serena Williams is claiming that professional tennis “punished” her because she dared to take maternity leave from the sport.

In a new op-ed, Williams slammed the “biased” tennis ranking system by which she took a hit after giving birth to her baby and taking an eight-month break from the game.

“When I returned to tennis from maternity leave, I was penalized for taking time off: my ranking dropped from #1 in the world to #453,” she wrote in an op-ed published Friday by Fortune.

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Williams insisted that the ranking system even led to her injury earlier this year.

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She added that the raking system “required me to face tougher competition earlier in the French Open, which led to a pectoral injury that forced me to drop out.”

“I fought hard personally, making it to the Wimbledon final shortly after,” Williams continued, “but I also fought hard publicly against the biased ranking system. We must stop penalizing women when they return to their careers after having children.”

On the day of International Women’s Day, Williams also accused pro tennis of being sexist.

“Women deserve to be given the same respect and opportunities as our male counterparts. We are entitled to the same open doors,” she wrote.

Williams has since regained her status among the top ten female players in the world.

The World Tennis Association did recently change its rules to address the very problem Williams cited in her op-ed. The WTA has ruled that women may retain their pre-maternity ranking to enter 12 tournaments over three years before the normal ranking system applies.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

 

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Hockey Coach Who’s Speech About National Anthem Went Viral Doubles Down On Remarks

The sports world needs more coaches like this guy.

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John Krupinsky, a hockey coach who recently went viral after he demanded his players respect the National Anthem, isn’t backing down from his remarks, stating the reason he’s passionate about this issue is that he’s seen too much death and disrespect. In the video in question, Krupinsky — who also serves as a police sergeant, says, “If there’s anybody here who is going to be disrespectful to either the American or the Canadian national anthem, grab your gear and get the f*** out now because you’ll never see the ice in this arena. We don’t have that problem in hockey. We’re better than that, but there was no sense in wasting anybody’s time if that s*** was going to happen.” Here’s more from TheBlaze: The assistant coach for the Danbury Hat Tricks of the Federal Hockey League discussed the video on “Fox & Friends.” “I take pride in my country,” Krupinksy said. “I’ve unfortunately seen it cover too many coffins. I think we can take a timeout to give two minutes’ worth of respect to our soldiers, to our firemen, to your policemen. I don’t think that’s asking too much. I’m not going to apologize for asking players to show a little bit of respect when it’s either the American or Canadian national anthem.” He added, “Some people said, ‘Oh you wouldn’t let your players protest.’ I wanna be clear: My players would be free to protest on their day off. If they had something they wanted to do.” When the national anthem is playing, however, it’s an entirely different story. “I don’t think it’s too much to ask your employees to show some respect for the flag and for the country,” he reasoned. The world of sports absolutely needs more men like Krupinsky to help balance out all the…

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Good Guy Shaquille O’Neal Sees Single Mother’s Social Media Post, Leaps into Action

Shaquille O’Neal was know for being a fierce competitor in the NBA, but it’s his big heart that has been on display this week.

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Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O’Neal may be one of the biggest basketball stars of all time, literally and figuratively, but that doesn’t mean that he’s forgotten where he came from. This week, word of O’Neal’s goodwill was spreading rapidly via social media, after the former pro athlete took the plight of one single mother to heart. Zach Keith, a 13-year-old middle school student who plays basketball and football, already wears a size 18 shoe. As the American average male shoe size is a 10.5, his mother, Brittany, finds it difficult not only to find a pair of shoes that will fit her son, but also a pair that she’s able to afford. Brittany, who is a single mom, posted a plea for help for her 6’2″-tall son on Instagram, writing, “if you can do anything to help I will be so appreciative.” Shaq then sprung into action. Upon learning of the family’s situation, CNN affiliate WGCL in Atlanta reached out to Shaquille O’Neal, who was more than happy to have the opportunity to pay it forward. “I reminisced back how that used to be me, my mom and my dad,” O’Neal told WGCL of Zach’s story. When O’Neal was trying to find size 18 penny loafers for his prom ensemble, his father eventually found Friedman’s Shoes in Atlanta. The owner of the shoe store, Bruce Teilhaber, gave Shaq a pair of shoes for free and ever since O’Neal, now a size 22, has frequented his business. “Bruce did it for me, and I just want to return the favor,” O’Neal said. O’Neal surprised Zach and his family at Friedman’s. There, Shaq generously bought the teenager ten pairs of shoes. The gesture overwhelmed young Zach, who was both surprised and extremely thankful for the help.

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