(CNN) – Serena Williams continues to divide opinion after her row with the umpire in the US Open final … Miami Dolphins’ Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson kneel during the anthem in the first Sunday of the new NFL season … Kylian Mbappe scores as France beat Netherlands in Nations League … Here’s your Monday sporting recap.
Amidst the furore it may have been overlooked that tennis has a new grand slam champion. Serena Williams’ extraordinary outburst in the women’s final of the US Open has overshadowed what was an incredible achievement by Naomi Osaka.
She beat a 23-time grand slam champion, her childhood idol, in straight sets, hitting just 14 unforced errors in her first major final. But in her finest moment the 20-year-old — the first Japanese athlete to win a grand slam — felt the need to apologize before the booing crowd.
Williams’ tirade came after umpire Carlos Ramos penalized her for getting signals from her coach, for breaking her racquet and then for calling Ramos “a thief.”
She later accused Ramos of sexism. Much has been written about the astonishing scenes over the past few days.
In a column in the Washington Post, former world No.1 Billie Jean King wrote: “Ultimately, a woman was penalized for standing up for herself. A woman faced down sexism, and the match went on.”
The Women’s Tennis Association, the governing body of women’s tennis, backed Williams’ claims, while Katrina Adams, the president of the United States Tennis Association, has praised Williams for her “class” and “sportsmanship.”
But there was plenty of ire and criticism directed at Williams’ behavior, too.
Novak Djokovic, who claimed his third US Open title Sunday, criticized the umpire but said he did not believe officials treated men differently to women.
The International Tennis Federation released this statement:
“Carlos Ramos is one of the most experienced and respected umpires in tennis. Mr. Ramos’ decisions were in accordance with the relevant rules and were re-affirmed by the US Open’s decision to fine Serena Williams for the three offenses.
“It is understandable that this high profile and regrettable incident should provoke debate. At the same time, it is important to remember that Mr. Ramos undertook his duties as an official according to the relevant rule book and acted at all times with professionalism and integrity.”
The fallout will continue, but in the chaos Osaka’s feat has been somewhat lost.
Just two of the 2,880 players on the sidelines during preseason knelt during the US anthem and on the first Sunday of the new NFL season the same two players — Miami Dolphins’ Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson — knelt, while teammate Robert Quinn stood for the anthem but raised his fist.
Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49er who started the protest in 2016 which spread around the league to highlight racial injustice, praised the duo on Twitter, posting: “My Brothers @kstills and @ithinkisee12 continue to show their unwavering strength by fighting for the oppressed! They have not backed down, even when attacked and intimidated. Their courage will move the world forward!”
Elsewhere, Aaron Rodgers was carted off the field with a knee injury but returned to throw three touchdown passes in the second half as the Green Bay Packers overcame a 20-point deficit to beat the Chicago Bears 24-23.
There was also shock in Cleveland. The Browns had lost every game they played last season but ended that losing run on the opening weekend, though not with a win. The Browns managed to tie 21-21 with the Pittsburgh Steelers, coming from behind and sending the game into overtime. A victory of sorts after a dismal last season.
Kylian Mbappe lit up the World Cup with scintillating performances to help France triumph in Russia, and the teenager continued his goalscoring form Sunday with the opening strike in France’s 2-1 win over the Netherlands in the Nations League.
Ryan Babel leveled for the visitors in Paris, but with 16 minutes remaining Olivier Giroud made sure of the win to secure the three points which takes the world champions to the top of Group A1 in the new European competition.
The 19-year-old Mbappe has now scored nine goals in 24 games for France, an impressive statistic for a forward who will not be 20 until December.
While Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United has been criticized for its turgid style of play and lack of goals, United’s women’s team is having no such problems.
In the club’s first official game in the FA Women’s Championship — England’s second-tier women’s league– United hammered 12 goals past rivals Aston Villa Ladies.
After racing to a 6-0 lead by halftime, the pick of the performances for United came from Jess Sigsworth, who netted a first-half hat trick and six goals in total.
United has already lost once and won once in the group stages of the Women’s League Cup and are one of the favorites to secure promotion to the Women’s Super League.
While it’s been widely considered a coup for Ferrari to have reportedly signed the sought-after rising star Charles Leclerc, many Kimi Raikkonen fans are not in agreement.
More than 150,000 people have signed petitions pleading for Ferrari not to replace “The Iceman” with Leclerc at the end of the season.
Raikkonen is still dearly loved by Ferrari fans given that he was the last driver to win the world title with the manufacturer, in 2007.
At Monza — Ferrari’s home race — last weekend in front of a raucous “tifosi,” Raikkonen started on pole after recording the fastest lap in F1 history during qualifying. In the race, he finished second behind Lewis Hamilton.
The two petitions on change.org have each attracted more than 75,000 signatures each.