On Wednesday, August 29, at the US Open, French tennis player Alizé Cornet was issued a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct after she realized her shirt was on backward and stepped to the back of the court to correct the mistake, momentarily removing her shirt and revealing her sports bra.
The incident is highlighting for many the sexism which still lingers in the world of sports. Male tennis players are frequently seen near the court with no shirts at all.
Alize Cornet came back to court after 10 minute heat break. Had her fresh shirt on back to front. Changed at back of court. Got a code violation. Unsportsmanlike conduct..... ?— judy murray (@JudyMurray) August 28, 2018
But the men can change shirts on court. https://t.co/sCN4KDXYTb
Djokovic, one of the world’s most famous male tennis players, was issued no violations for sitting shirtless during his break at the same competition, while the ten seconds it took Cornet to change were seen as a major distraction.
Busted for code violation ? #alizecornet took 10 sec to turn top right way but #novacdjokovic can sit for minutes half-naked. Same comp. Days after @serenawilliams slammed for disrespecting tennis because she wore a #catsuit. Not fair. Not right. Tell your daughters ? pic.twitter.com/pJILnwvUvG— Alissa Warren (@alissawarren) August 29, 2018
Twitter users were outraged!
I did not see any of the match at all, but my only thought would be that she took the full time in the heat break and time had already been called for them to be back on court.— Victoria Chiesa (@vrcsports) August 28, 2018
yeah so this is the section I’m referencing - I know it was the heat break but there is a precedent. Regardless, as I’ve been saying, I don’t think you should be being officious in a zillion degrees. pic.twitter.com/ETXE1manR9— Victoria Chiesa (@vrcsports) August 28, 2018
There should be nothing wrong with a woman momentarily revealing her sports bra.
This is an obvious red card by the official. The women should be able to change their shirt when they have a sports bra on. No big deal at all. I’m sure that rule will be revisited.— Matt Manasse (@Matt_Manasse) August 28, 2018
The US Open has responded to the controversy by saying they regretted that a violation was issued to Cornet.
US Open Statement on Change of Attire Policy pic.twitter.com/Kt7EcuPz1S— US Open Tennis (@usopen) August 29, 2018
US Open say @alizecornet should not have been given a code violation for changing her shirt on court yesterday, Say all players can change their shirt when sitting in their chair— Simon Cambers (@scambers73) August 29, 2018
Though Cornet should have never been given a penalty, it’s nice that the US Open recognizes their mistake and is now aiming to make amends.
US Open now say the warning given to Cornet was incorrect: "We regret that a code violation was assessed to Ms Cornet yesterday. We have clarified the policy to ensure this will not happen moving forward." She won't face a fine.— Eleanor Crooks (@EleanorcrooksPA) August 29, 2018
US Open to announce alterations to its 'change of attire' policy following the rumpus over Alize Cornet getting warned for changing her shirt on court yesterday.— Mike Dickson (@Mike_Dickson_DM) August 29, 2018
The Women’s Tennis Association also expressed their support for Cornet.
Keep fighting @WTA because women’s sport needs more & more support to crash through barriers of male dominated officialdom determined to leave female athletic competition behind.— Tony Hardy (@aussietony8888) August 29, 2018
Where are potential sponsors & broadcasters ? Not brave enough to take a chance on the female brand
Hopefully, errors like this one won’t be made in the future. The tennis court should be an equal playing field for all genders.
Just good they have done something to prevent a ludicrous situation from happening again (hopefully)— Simon Cambers (@scambers73) August 29, 2018