There is little doubting that discrimination based on an individual's sex is still very much an issue in modern day society. Whether it be the gender pay gap which exists between male and female employees at companies all over the world or the fact that women only make up 32% of the UK’s elected Members of Parliament, the evidence is all around us and it is irrefutable.

It should come as no surprise, then, that this inequality is strongly mirrored in the world of sport. The disproportionately limited coverage of female sports and athletes in our national newspapers and the continually underwhelming representation of women on the BBC Sport’s Personality Of the Year shortlist are just two of a multitude of factors which highlight the discrepancies still in existence.

Tennis leads the way

Tennis is arguably one of the shining lights of equality between men and women in sport. In 2007, Wimbledon became the first of the four Grand Slam tournaments to award men and women the same prize money. The US Open, Australian Open and French Open did so in 1973, 2001 and 2006 respectively. There is, however, still work to be done. The ridiculous code of conduct violation awarded to Alize Cornet for unsportsmanlike behaviour after she changed her shirt on court during an enforced heat break at the recent US Open, for instance, acting as a stark reminder of the discrimination still rife within the game. Male tennis players, by the way, are permitted to change their shirts as and when they please.

Williams wobbly a distraction

Serena Williams [VIDEO] has been a pioneer for both gender and racial equality within tennis, paving the way for progression like few before.

Her approach to playing the game she loves and the success she has achieved, as a result, means that Williams has become an influential role model to millions of people all over the world. When she plays tennis, people watch in awe and admiration, and when she speaks, people listen. Consequently, when Serena Williams accused a well-respected tennis umpire of sexual discrimination in the wake of her US Open final defeat to Japanese rising star Naomi Osaka, the world’s media took note. According to Williams, the three code violations she was struck with were an attack on her character, and would not have been awarded to a male counterpart in the same circumstances. This was a clear act of sexual discrimination and yet more evidence of the struggles women face within sport, and society more generally. The accusations generated significant media coverage across the world with many lauding Williams for standing strong in the face of continued oppression.

In reality, the tirade of abuse directed at chair umpire Ramos was nothing more than a tantrum from someone more accustomed to winning tennis matches than losing them.

The pressure of matching Margaret Court’s all-time Grand Slam singles record perhaps beginning to tell. The fact that Ramos has dished out code violations to numerous male tennis players, including Djokovic, Murray and Kyrgios for acts of lesser descent suggest that he is a stickler for the rules as opposed to sexist. Even Billie Jean King, a staunch campaigner for equality in tennis, who in the immediate aftermath of the event, praised Williams for her actions, has since admitted that she was out of order.

In threatening Mr Ramos' livelihood by suggesting that he would never officiate one of her games again and calling him a thief, Williams, in reality, left the umpire with little choice but to issue conduct violations against her.

Sexism in sport is a serious issue and one which must be continually addressed. It should not, however, be sought out where it doesn't exist, especially not when it is deployed as a distraction to mask an embarrassing outburst from one of the worlds leading sportswomen. There are cases of discrimination in sport, and society more globally, which are rightly highlighted and must be acted upon. Desperate accusations such as those launched by Serena Williams in the last few days, however, do very little to help in the actual pursuit of gender equality in sport.