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Chris Evert Serena Got Screwed ... By Bad U.S. Open Rule

9/25/2018 8:52 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Serena Williams got a "raw deal" at the U.S. Open -- all because of a DUMB rule that should be changed immediately ... so says tennis great Chris Evert

The rule -- players are forbidden to receive any instructions from coaches on the sideline. 

The ump at the U.S. Open claimed Serena and her coach violated the policy and he docked her a point penalty. Things went nuclear from there and Williams was later penalized a full game.

Enter Evert ... who tells TMZ Sports both sides deserved blame for the altercation -- but ultimately, it proves the anti-coaching rule is stupid and should be done away with since EVERYONE breaks it anyway. 

"The real fault was the rule," Evert said at the Buoniconti Fund’s 33rd Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner.

"Everybody coaches on the side. Every coach coaches. ... So, change that rule."

As for Serena's legacy, Evert thinks "this is a blip on the whole picture of what she's done for women. And she's done so much more ... I think we should let this go."

Andy Murray Shatters Chinese Gift Plate ... 'I'm So Sorry!!'

9/24/2018 8:43 AM PDT
Breaking News

Tennis superstar Andy Murray received a huge honor for his contributions to tennis in China ... and celebrated by shattering it into a million pieces!!

The former No. 1-ranked player in the world got a dope commemorative plate before competing in the Shenzhen Open on Monday ... and accidentally DROPPED IT in front of everybody while posing for pics.

Murray was clearly super embarrassed -- you can hear the entire crowd gasp while he apologizes over and over for the fumble. We're sure they accepted the apology.

It's not necessarily a great omen for the 31-year-old -- who is now currently ranked 311 in the world -- before taking the court on Tuesday ... but it's still not the worst Andy Murray/China incident we've seen ...

Serena Williams I'm Shakin' Off a Bad Month ... On 'Lip Sync Battle'

9/23/2018 7:19 AM PDT

Serena Williams dropped it low during a taping for an upcoming episode of "Lip Sync Battle."

The tennis star shakes and grooves to Beyonce's hit single, "Sorry," off her Lemonade album.

In case you didn't know ... Serena was also in the music video for "Sorry."

Serena Williams is coming off a tough month after losing to Naomi Osaka at the US Open ... a match laced in controversy after Serena was docked a game after getting into it with the ump. Then an Australian paper, The Herald Sun, published a racist cartoon of Serena.

Interesting song choice ... Serena could be telling us how she feels about the whole US Open thing.

Joakim Noah My Shredded Bod is Thanos-Approved ... John McEnroe Agrees

9/19/2018 10:18 AM PDT

Thanos ain't snappin' his fingers at Joakim Noah ... 'cause the NBA star and Josh Brolin bro'd out on the beach ... and lookin' at the pics, you'd think Noah is the one who plays a superhuman!!

The buff dudes teamed up for a Malibu getaway with John McEnroe and surfer Laird Hamilton this week ... drinkin' beers and playing cornhole --  something they've been doing all summer long.

Noah's actually wearing a lot more clothing than the last time we saw him ... considering the dude stripped buck nekkid in front of his expensive Porsche in Santa Monica for a quick change last month.

No clue how this group came to be ... but if they keep taking beach pics together, we're for it.

Don Cheadle I Don't Believe Serena Cartoonist ... You Know It's Racist!

9/12/2018 11:23 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Don Cheadle isn't buying the Herald Sun's explanation for its Serena Williams cartoon one bit ... telling TMZ Sports the newspaper DEFINITELY knows the drawing is racist as hell.

"I don't believe them," the 'Avengers' actor says.

"They have their own history of racism -- they know what that cartoon means."

The paper doubled down on Mark Knight's drawing -- the one depicting Serena with exaggerated lips, hair and nose after her U.S. Open outburst -- reprinting the piece Wednesday and claiming the world is too sensitive.

Cheadle couldn't believe it when we got him out at LAX ... saying he sees no humor or satire in the "art" at all.

"It's incredibly tone deaf," he says.

For his part ... Knight says of the drawing, "The world’s gone crazy. It’s a cartoon about poor behavior. It’s nothing to do with race."

Racist Serena Cartoon Newspaper Doubles Down ... Attacks 'PC' Critics

9/12/2018 6:23 AM PDT
Breaking News

We're NOT racist, you're too sensitive -- that's how an Australian newspaper is handling criticism of their Serena Williams cartoon ... and now they've REPRINTED IT on their cover. 

The Herald Sun ran the headline, "Welcome To PC World" -- along with the caption, "If the self-appointed censors of Mark Knight get their way on his Serena Williams cartoon, our new politically correct life will be very dull indeed."

Along with reprinting Serena, the paper added other "controversial" cartoons from the artist including a chubby Kim Jong-un and a villainous Donald Trump

Under the Serena cartoon, they noted the public "vetoed" the image due to "large hair and lips, too angry."

They mockingly noted the paper would now be a "Satire Free Zone."

What the paper is failing to acknowledge is how racists used cartoons featuring exaggerated lips, hair, noses and other features to mock and dehumanize black people for centuries.

That exact point was raised by hundreds of critics on social media -- but the newspaper is refusing to back down.

In fact, the artist tried to defend his work, saying, "The world’s gone crazy. It’s a cartoon about poor behavior. It’s nothing to do with race."

He added, "I’m sorry it’s been taken by social media and distorted so much. I’ve tried to reply to these people but they don’t listen."

These people? C'mon, bruh ...

Common Serena Got Screwed Ref Shoulda Let Outburst Slide

9/12/2018 12:30 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Awwww, the widdle U.S. Open judge has hurt feewings??

SUCK IT UP, PAL, YOU DON'T DOCK SERENA WILLIAMS A FULL GAME PENALTY!!

At least, that's how Common feels about the drama involving his ex-girlfriend -- telling TMZ Sports the judge shouldn't be so damn sensitive when a passionate player blows up on him. 

Remember, Carlos Ramos was so offended when Serena called him a "thief" during a heated moment in the U.S. Open final, he punished her by penalizing her 1 full game. 

"You gotta rise above it as a referee," Common said ... "She was having a time at that moment, she should be allowed that space. She's a passionate athlete."

Common also explained, "I think the referee should have gave her some leeway. You could see she was having an emotional time and because she is that great and what she means to the sport, you don't want to see the match end because or things get swayed one way because of a referee."

"You should let the athletes play it out."

Common also believes that Serena is a mature adult -- and will ultimately hold herself accountable for whatever she believes she did wrong ... IF she thinks she did anything wrong. 

J.K. Rowling Blasts 'Racist' Serena Newspaper Cartoon

9/10/2018 6:14 AM PDT
Breaking News

This is not good. 

A newspaper in Australia is catching A LOT of heat over a cartoon that was trying to spoof Serena Williams' incident at the U.S. Open -- because it's racist as hell. 

The cartoon -- drawn by Mark Knight (editorial cartoonist for the Herald Sun newspaper) -- shows the tennis superstar stomping on her racket. 

But, let's get serious, it looks like a Jim Crow-era, Sambo-style caricature of a black person -- not Serena Williams. 

The cartoon has been blasted by athletes and celebs including J.K. Rowling who said, "Well done on reducing one of the greatest sportswomen alive to racist and sexist tropes and turning a second great sportswoman into a faceless prop."

ESPN's Jemele Hill noted the racism is "About as subtle as Fran Drescher’s voice."

So far, it doesn't seem like the Herald Sun is backing down -- they retweeted the image and haven't pulled it. 

At least, not yet.

As we reported ... Serena was penalized several times during Saturday's U.S. Open finals match against Naomi Osaka. Serena went off on the judge claiming he was a "thief" who stole a point from her. 

The judge then penalized Serena a game for the "verbal abuse." Williams continued to go off on the guy to other tournament officials claiming the judge would never treat a man that way. 

D.L. Hughley Serena's Right ... Men Catch Breaks That Women Don't

9/9/2018 2:08 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

D. L. Hughley says Serena Williams absolutely has a point about women getting unfairly penalized for things men do all the time ... pointing to Martha Stewart as a prime example.

The comedian was strolling through LAX Sunday when our photog asked if Serena was justified in her epic outburst against an umpire overseeing her and Naomi Osaka's match Saturday at the US Open finals -- after the guy took a point away from her, and then a whole game.

She called him a thief at the time, and later said male players have said just as harsh things --- if not worse -- and are hardly reprimanded as severely as she was.

D.L. agrees with that, citing historic outbursts from Andre Agassi and, of course, John McEnroe ... who once called an umpire a "jerk" and demanded he be replaced mid-game.

Then there's Martha Stewart, who D.L. notes went to jail for illegally pocketing around $40,000, she was sentenced to 5 months in prison in 2004. He insinuates that a high-profile man who might've been caught up in a similar case probably wouldn't have seen jail time.

Bottom line for D.L. ... women often get the short end of the stick across the board, and Serena's not off base with her assessment here. 

Serena Williams Heavy Fines For US Open Controversy

9/9/2018 9:06 AM PDT
Breaking News

Serena Williams won't just leave the US Open with a loss in the Championship ... she'll leave a little lighter in the wallet too.

Williams will be fined $17,000 for 3 separate code violations during the tennis tournament's final.

-$4,000 for a coaching violation.

-$3,000 for smashing her racquet.

-$10,000 for verbal abuse towards the umpire. 

As we reported ... Serena was penalized several times during Saturday's match against Naomi Osaka.  

Williams approached the umpire and heavily disputed the violation, saying she'd rather lose than cheat. Williams' coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, did admit to coaching after the match, but said he didn't think Serena was paying attention to him.

Osaka received her trophy to a chorus of boos from the crowd ... and Williams was obviously upset during the press conference after the match ... saying she felt that she was only penalized because she was a woman. 

The fines will come out of Serena's tournament winnings ... $1.85 MILLION.

Serena Williams Blows Up On Ref Over Violation 'You Owe Me an Apology!'

9/8/2018 3:39 PM PDT

Serena Williams erupted on the court during the U.S. Open final ... but it didn't help her win.

Serena confronted the chair judge after receiving a coaching violation early in the second set Saturday ... telling him she doesn't cheat to win. But, her aggravation with the ref only grew from there, and a few games and a racquet smash later ... she went OFF on the guy.

Williams demanded an apology from the chair judge repeatedly, accusing him of attacking her character by insinuating she was cheating. It only got more tense from there ... and after telling the ref he would "never ever ever be on another court of mine as long as you live" and calling him a thief and a liar ... Serena was given a game penalty for umpire verbal abuse.

Then things got really interesting, with Open officials coming on the court to talk to Williams, who accused the ump of treating her unfairly because she's a woman.

The whole ordeal was ... unpleasant, to say the least.

BTW -- Naomi Osaka won in straight sets, becoming the first Japanese person to win a Grand Slam ... which is awesome. She became visibly upset, though, as the crowd booed during the trophy presentation ... but Serena was quick to put an arm around her for comfort.

Congrats Naomi!!

Nike Drops New Kaepernick Commercial ... With Serena & Odell

9/5/2018 10:29 AM PDT
Breaking News

Nike isn't backing down from its Colin Kaepernick ad campaign -- they just released a brand new 2-minute commercial featuring the QB -- and it's slated to air during the NFL season opener. 

The spot features Colin narrating inspiring messages about overcoming the odds while real video of really inspirational athletes plays on the screen. 

Colin references Serena Williams and praises her as "the greatest athlete ever" -- while throwing similar compliments at stars like Odell Beckham, Shaquem Griffin and the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team. 

Regarding Odell, Colin says ... 

"Don't picture yourself wearing OBJ's jersey. Picture OBJ wearing yours."

Regarding Shaquem, Colin says ... 

"If you have only one hand, don’t just watch football, play it at the highest level."

Regarding LeBron James, Colin says ... 

"Don’t become the best basketball player on the planet. Be bigger than basketball." (while video runs showing LeBron opening his new school in Ohio)

Regarding Serena, Colin says ... 

"And, if you’re a girl from Compton, don’t just become a tennis player. Become the greatest athlete ever. Yeah, that’s more like it."

It's the second phase of Nike's "Just Do It" ad campaign featuring Kaep -- a deal that we're told was put together in the last several weeks. 

We're told the deal put together by Mark Geragos and Ben Meiselas also includes a new custom Kaepernick shoe and apparel line. 

No word on when that's supposed to drop. 

As for the commercial, a source with knowledge of the situation tells us the plan is to air the commericial at some point during the Falcons vs. Eagles broadcast on NBC. 

U.S. Open Chicken Tender Fan I Know It's Gross, But Cola-Flavored Dipping Sauce??

9/4/2018 5:46 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

The U.S. Open tennis fan who disgusted viewers by dunking chicken tenders in soda says her quirky, acquired taste will become socially acceptable ... if someone would just invent a new condiment!!

Alexa Greenfield tells TMZ ... she's been dunking her tenders in ice cold Coca-Cola since she was young and her dad told her it was a way to cool the food down (so really, this is all his fault).

She says she knew it was strange, so she gave up the habit for years when she became an adult. That is, until she said screw it ... the heart stomach wants what it wants!

Alexa's fully aware most people find her cola dunking disgusting, but adds the right dipping sauce would make people realize Coca-Cola flavoring is "really actually good."

As for her notorious TV moment, Alexa tells us she was with her nephews, and told them to keep her dipping routine a secret, but the U.S. Open cameras blew up her spot.

She's a great sport about it, though. Almost makes us want to try some Coke-soaked chicken. Almost.

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