Sound Off: Serena Williams

Just a year after giving birth to a daughter, Serena Williams rallied her way back to the finals of the U.S. Open. Her win would have been the icing on the cake in comparison to where she was a year ago, fighting for her life. While the finals did not turn out the way most expected, the turn of events throughout the game is the topic of conversation.

There was a lot of controversy during the finals of the U.S. Open when the umpire insinuated that Serena was cheating when she received a hand signal from her coach.

I don’t cheat to win. I’d rather lose.

She went on to tell him he owed her an apology and the situation began to spiral from there. As Serena lost to Naomi Osaka, the attention was on her actions versus the success of the winner. Yes, of course everyone was rooting for Serena. She’s dominated the game of tennis, transforming the sport in her own right. Still, the trials and tribulations and disrespect she receives should not go unnoticed.

Unfortunately Serena has been under fire her entire career. Before the finals even occurred, her catsuit outfits were banned in France. Furthermore, let’s not even get into the constant drug tests. Is this just something that happens to black athletes? Now I know many may say,

  • Not everything is racist.
  • All lives matter.
  • It’s just a sport.

It honestly goes deeper than that. Unfortunately this is a society that is not only filled with racism, but sexism as well. Serena Williams is not only a black athlete, she is a female black athlete. If you look at men when they argue with officials, it’s as if they receive praise. Serena Williams on the other hand is represented with images like this:

To see this on my timeline is beyond offensive. Put aside the depiction of her throwing a temper tantrum. The appearance of her is what angers me. I don’t care if it’s a “cartoon.” It’s racist and sexist. Why does she have be drawn oversized for one just because she has curves. Also because she’s black she has to have giant lips? No, I’m not taking this personally. Unfortunately, an image like this is something you won’t see spread all over your local news. Instead, they’ll discuss Serena being fined for her actions. Images that portray our heroes like this are disgusting and shouldn’t be tolerated, but everyone seems to turn a blind eye. What’s the big deal?

On the other side of Serena losing, they tried to ignore the true ancestry of Naomi Osaka. Yes, she’s Japanese, but her father is Haitian. No need to draw attention to that side though right? Let’s ignore this multicultural athlete that has stunned the nation winning the U.S. Open.

It sucks that for Osaka, this moment will go down as one filled with controversy with the attention directed away from her win. Still, the astounding negativity against Serena is uncalled for and speaks volumes in regards to how black people are perceived.

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