Foot Fault


Here’s a rather odd story:

Serena needs foot surgery, will miss three U.S. Open tuneups

Serena Williams needs surgery on her right foot after cutting it on a broken glass at a restaurant.

The story goes on to say that she cut the bottom of her foot (and in an even earlier story, the implication was that she was barefoot in the restaurant). But then further down, it is stated that when she attended a wedding, she was there with bandages on the top of her foot.

I’m wondering what really happened. Those of us who go barefoot all the time, including into restaurants, know that those places are kept spotless. Not only that, if a plate or glass is dropped and broken, they immediately clean it up. Even if they do a lousy job of cleaning up, they are not going to leave behind a piece large enough to cause a large wound and require stitches. Maybe, just maybe, a small sliver could be left behind unnoticed.

What cutting your foot on glass in a restaurant is is a convenient myth and excuse. For those who don’t know something about it, it seems natural. But I am guessing that something else happened entirely, and this is the cover story, concocted on the theory that people believe it. It so conveniently plays on people’s expectations (that we barefooters know to be false).

I’m not the only one with suspicions. The Daily Obsession also says Serena Williams’ Foot Story Doesn’t Make Sense!.

This will undoubtedly make it harder on barefooters. The shod world will see the story and use it to say to themselves, “See, I told you so.” But what they should probably be doing is having doubts about the story.

[PS. I play tennis and really like Serena. But that doesn’t stop me from calling “foul” when that’s what looks like is happening.]


5 Responses to “Foot Fault”

  1. Myranya Says:

    Even if she did step on a piece of glass while barefoot and it cut her deep enough so she needed surgery (perhaps the stem of a wine glass?), so what? Accidents happen, and something like that would be a very RARE one.

    People trip over their shoe laces and no one bans laced footwear. People slip and fall with slick dress shoes and all that stores/restaurants do is put up signs warning us for wet floors, they do not ban people wearing those kind of shoes. Twisted or even broken ankles from heels and platforms are certainly more common than such a rare, serious injury from glass, and yet businesses are okay with folks wearing those. Come to think of that, did Serena drive to the restaurant? Lots of people get hurt in car accidents bad enough to need surgery, some can never walk let alone play tennis again, heck, people get *killed* in accidents while driving to and from stores & restaurants! Yet few if any of those people who tell us we have to wear shoes ‘for safety’ express any concern when they see us get into our car, except perhaps in the middle of winter during a snow storm.

    Regardless of whether this one single mishap was a barefoot injury or not, banning bare feet is still a ridiculously silly thing to do. Every time someone is told to leave because ‘bare feet are dangerous’ it is proof that people freak out when they see something they’re not used to, while they’re ignoring far greater but more common risks.

  2. Wilson Says:

    This episode has nothing to do with barefooting. None of the articles I’ve read on Serena’s injury suggested she was barefoot, and barefooters shouldn’t read any implications into how/where she sustained her “injury”. As barefooters know, shoes offer little protection against foot injury (indeed, we believe they increase the risk of injury), and if Serena really got injured on her foot I believe she would have gotten the injury while shod. As a tennis follower, I cannot imagine Serena walking about barefoot anywhere, especially in public. That’s just not the high-fashion image she likes to portray.

    Also, has anyone wondered if the plasters-on-front-foot and/or glass-in-foot show is a high-fashion gimmick? Recall that shoe fashion is about pain, and I’m suggesting that showing (apparent) physical pain in the form of highly visible plasters and hobbling foot is a fashion stunt to draw attention to Serena’s footwear. So, is Serena modelling new shoes? The childish X-shaped plasters raised my suspicion because no one plasters their wound in that way. Except make-believe pirates in last century’s movies.

  3. Bob Neinast Says:

    I beg to differ — it has a lot to do with barefooting.

    First, an earlier AP story (since removed) said that she was barefoot. But the way it affects barefooters is that restaurateurs and shopkeepers reading the article will say, “Yup, going barefoot is dangerous. You really can get a bad cut in a restaurant. We therefore need to ban bare feet in our restaurants and shops.” But the truth is that bare feet, as Myranya points out, perfectly safe (or at least as safe as any shoe).

    The problem for barefooters is that it perpetuates the myth. And, based on the circumstances, I suspect that the story is not true, but is being used to cover up the actual circumstances of the injury. (And I agree, I too cannot imagine Serena walking about barefoot, and that is another reason to think that the whole restaurant story is a concoction.)

  4. Andy Says:

    Her coach/trainer said right off that she didn’t step on broken glass, that it was some freak thing. I guess putting foot through something is the clear front runner.

  5. Serena – How anti-barefooting myths are propagated « Society for Barefoot Living Says:

    […] that it is very easy to cut your foot by being barefoot there. I discussed this in a previous post, Foot Fault. Notice that none of the stories express any of the doubt that circulated at the time of the […]

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