In a “move with the times,” the All England Lawn Tennis Club, best known as the venue for Wimbledon, has announced that umpires at Wimbledon will stop referring women athletes as “Ms.,” “Miss,” or “Mrs,” and instead refer to them by their last name—a standard already used for players in the men’s division. Might I suggest they call them by one of these honorifics instead: “Boss,” “Chief,” and “Capable of crushing me with your bare hands”?
This will end the arcane tradition of referring to women at Wimbledon by using a modifier that signals whether or not they’ve been married, while men are referred to with their last name. “We’ve got to move with the times,” the head of communications for the All England Club told the Telegraph. “Hopefully we surprise people with the way we do that.” I believe “the times” referred to might be the 1980s.
The news did come as a surprise to top ranked tennis player Novak Djokovic, who said he thought the old way was “nice” and “very special,” as well as “very unique.” Now the association is figuring out how to work within what it seems to consider a mind-boggling level of professional courtesy. “I suppose the challenge for us is: how much you rewrite history?” the All England Club head said.
One suggestion: Call all the male players “Mister Spinster” until they get married, at which point they switch over to “Mister Wife Guy.” A couple hundred years of that, and things should be evened out.