The US Open was a gong show. • Week one of the NFL did NOT disappoint. • Surfing is enacting pay equity - hang ten, baby! • The WNBA Finals has been lit. • Meryl Streep at the US Open is our spirit animal. • Get your tickets today for the most fun event of the fall - The GIST’s Inaugural Hockey Pool!
ICYMI, we’ve partnered with BOLO, one of our fave fitness clubs in downtown Toronto, to hook you up! When you get five friends to sign up for The GIST using your unique referral link (you can find it at the bottom of the newsletter), you’ll get to work out at BOLO for TWO WEEKS (Sept 17-30) for FREE!!! AND, as a welcome to The GIST community, we’re tossing in some free classes for the friends you refer to The GIST too. You have until September 14th to get your referrals in. Happy sharing (and working out), GISTers!
This is America
The GIST: Congratulations to Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic (aka The Joker) on winning the US Open major tennis tournament! With this win, Osaka became the first Japanese tennis player to ever win a grand slam title. On the flip side, this win marked The Joker’s 14th grand slam title solidifying himself in tennis history.
The Drama: The biggest story of the tournament was the dramatic, gut-wrenching and emotional women’s final. The GOAT, Serena Williams was facing off against 20-year-old Osaka. After beating Williams handily in the first set 6-2, the second set got ugly. Let us break it down for you:
- First, Williams was given a code violation for receiving coaching from her coach, who was seated in the players' box. In grand slam tournaments, coaching from the stands is a major no-no. Williams’ coach made a subtle movement with his hands for which the umpire, Carlos Ramos, called a violation. However, Williams said she didn’t even look at her coach, saying to the ump “I don't cheat to win, I’d rather lose”.
- Next, after Osaka broke Williams, she smashed her racquet. Again, this display of emotion is not allowed in tennis, so Williams was given another violation. With a second code violation, the player loses a point.
- After both of these violations, Williams was incredibly frustrated. She approached the ump, asked him for an apology for insinuating that she is a cheater, and called him a “thief” for stealing a point from her. Because Williams called him a “thief” she was given a third and final violation for verbal abuse. With a third code violation, the player loses an ENTIRE game. At this point, Osaka was up 4-3. At 5-3, there was basically no chance for Serena to make a comeback.
Post Game: The mayhem that ensued during the match also followed it. At the end of the game, instead of the winning player cheering in jubilation and the crowd on their feet, Osaka didn’t know how to act, and the crowd also appeared completely stunned. Osaka even broke down into Williams’ arms when they hugged at the end of the match. The crowd started booing in the post-game trophy ceremony, causing Osaka to tear up and for Williams to ask the crowd to stop booing and celebrate Osaka on a job well done. Both Williams and Osaka had heart-wrenchingly tough post-game interviews. Williams was fined $17k USD for her violations. It was a mess.
What’s Unfortunate: There are so many things to unpack with what happened on Saturday… and there are so many different perspectives to consider. Ultimately, we think that Ramos crossed the line. An umpire’s job is to maintain control of the match. Instead, Ramos abused his power, inserted himself into the match, and affected the outcome. What he did was not fair.
What happened to Williams was a gross example of sexism in sports. Do we think that if a man were in the same position as Williams that Ramos would have treated him differently? Yes. And, sexism might only be half of the story here.
What also makes our hearts ache is how Osaka was robbed of her moment. What was supposed to be the best moment of her life was completely ruined - she’ll never have a chance to redo her first grand slam win. Further, there’s always going to be an asterisk beside Osaka’s name with this win because of Ramos’ incessant code violation calls. And, this is a crying shame because Osaka was the best player on the court on Saturday and is, without a doubt, a rising star on the tennis scene.
There are many articles on what happened on Saturday, but no one says it as eloquently as the OG tennis queen herself, Billie Jean King. Do yourself a favour and read the tennis icon’s wise words here. Altogether, Saturday was a sad day for the sport of tennis.
The GIST: As much as September can be depressing because it means the end of summer, it’s also SO HYPE because the NFL is back in session. The 2018/19 season started on Thursday and it did not disappoint.
The Deets: Alright, here are the key things to know from football Sunday:
1) The Cleveland Browns, who didn’t win a game at all last season, DIDN’T LOSE… but, they didn’t win either. In a sad showcase of football, the Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers tied 21-21. On the bright side, at least the Browns’ losing streak is finally over.
2) In one of the most stunning upsets in week one, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the New Orleans Saints 48-40. This upset was in large part thanks to the Bucs quarterback (QB),Ryan Fitzpatrick, who went awf for 417 yards and five touchdowns - a career-high for Fitzpatrick. What makes this an even bigger deal is that Fitzpatrick is the Bucs’ backup QB!! Jameis Winston is the Bucs’ main guy, BUT, he’s currently serving a suspension for an incident in which he groped an Uber driver. SMDH.
3) Our fave play yesterday? When Kansas City’s 5’10” (BTW, that’s v short for the NFL) Tyreek Hill made this sensational catch. Manz got hops!
What’s Up with #TakeAKnee?: It seems as though, at least during this first week of action, things with #TakeAKnee have settled down. To start, most media companies are not airing the national anthem on live TV for political reasons and because they can make more money by running ads during that time. Next, the proposed rule from the league requiring players to either stand or stay in the locker room during the national anthem has been put on pause until next season. That said, the majority of players stood during the anthem, and only a few continued to #TakeAKnee. Finally, even though it seems #TakeAKnee was pretty low key this week, President Donald Trump just couldn’t keep quiet about the issue. Check out @realDonaldTrump’s ridiculous tweet yesterday. Could someone please put a child lock on his phone!?
GIST some Other sh!t you Should Know
- Surf’s up! Last week, the World Surf League (WSL) announced that it will award equal prize money to male and female surfers for every WSL event starting in 2019. The WSL is now the first and only U.S. based sports league to achieve pay equality. Talk about PROGRESS!!! And, you’ve gotta read this touching piece by superstar surfer, Stephanie Gilmore. Gilmore talks about what these changes mean for her, and for female surfers everywhere.
- Last week, Debra Van Horn, the former USA Gymnastics (USAG) athletic trainer who worked alongside disgraced former USA Gymnastics Doctor, Larry Nassar, was arrested on one charge of second-degree sexual assault of a child. Van Horn worked with Nassar at Karolyi Ranch, which used to be the training camp for the USAG team. This arrest is a BFD because Van Horn is the first of Nassar’s colleagues to be charged with an assault crime in relation to his sexual abuse case. Need more background on the Larry Nassar scandal? Check out our Deep Dive on the topichere.
- Meryl Streep was in attendance for the men’s US Open final match and her reactions did NOT disappoint. Watch Meryl Streep channel her inner emoji here.
- It’s WNBA Finals time baby! This year, it’s the Washington Mystics vs. the Seattle Storm. The WNBA plays a best of five series in the finals (FYI in the NBA it’s seven) and the Storm has come out like lightning winning the first two games in the series. The third game, which could be the end of the series, is on Wednesday. There’s a storm coming, Harry.
Get it in the Cal.
Right Now: The GIST is hosting our first annual hockey pool on September 18th at the beautiful One King West Hotel! We were sick and tired of feeling left out of pools at the office and with our friends, so we decided to make our own. Whether you’re a NHL guru or know nothing about it, this pool is for you. Your ticket gets you an open bar (a GIST classic), bougee AF food, GIST commentary and resources, and a chance to win up to $200! We have limited tickets, so be sure to get them here right now!
Today: The BMW Championship golf tournament was postponed yesterday because of unrelenting rain. So, the final round of the tournament starts bright ‘n’ early today at 7:30am EST.
Moving on to tonight, it’s the first week of Monday night football. This week, we have the privilege of watching not one, but two (!!!) games. Catch the New York Jets at Detroit Lions at7:10pm EST and then the L.A. Rams at the Oakland Raiders at10:20pm EST. P.S. ICYMI, The GIST is hosting our very own free football pool! We’ll be sliding into your inboxes every Wednesday. Learn more about the fun here.
Saturday: It’s a BIG weekend in the CFL, including Saturday night when the Toronto Argonauts host the Saskatchewan Roughriders. This game is sure to be a rowdy one. Interested in going? We thought so. Get one friend to sign up for The GIST and unlock discounts to go to the game.