US tennis star feels some people don’t want Black players to succeed and they have to fight.
— After one of her most emotional days on the court on Wednesday night, Serena Williams took a moment to address her critics to a crowd in Paris.
In front of a packed audience of thousands, the 28-time Grand Slam singles and doubles champion spoke about the importance of Black athletes in sports, the need to uplift the community and how she feels black excellence can inspire a wider audience.
“I have so many brothers and sisters that are doing everything I’m doing right now. So I just want their world to be better for them and for their kids,” Williams said to a crowd full of people wearing Black-owned sneakers and T-shirts.
Williams, who is from Williamsburg, Virginia took offense to a comment made by a French journalist on French newspaper Le Monde’s site, saying that she looks a lot like Williams’ late father, who had been a boxer and football player and who won two gold medals at the 1988 Summer Olympics.
The journalist claimed that while Williams has improved both her tennis and her life in general, she still takes issue with her parents’ ethnicity, specifically Williams’ father’s race. The journalist said the differences in ethnicity between the Williams’ family and so many other Black families are reflected in their tennis and sports excellence.
“I think my dad is in a better place, because he was a very poor kid that came from a very impoverished area, was a very poor kid that went to Virginia Tech, that went to college, that went to the NFL. Everybody goes to college,” Williams said. “And you know, it’s a good thing, and I think he’s in a better place, because I remember that when we played in the Olympics, he was a top player when he played for America. My dad was the same.”
Williams, who has won six Grand Slam singles and two doubles titles, then expressed some concern with the media’s focus on her and her family’s differences.
“And it’s like, who are the ones that bring more negative attention to the community?” she asked the audience. “I’ve got my own issues, my own things to do, but I don’t feel like I’m bringing negativity. And no one should be bringing negativity to the community and bring negativity to my