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Thread: 'I'm in a sport that wasn't meant for black people': Serena Williams hits out

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    Default 'I'm in a sport that wasn't meant for black people': Serena Williams hits out

    'I'm in a sport that wasn't meant for black people': Serena Williams hits out at racial inequality - and admits she hopes young people are inspired by 'trailblazers' like her

    Serena Williams says 'I'm in a sport that wasn't meant for black people' | Daily Mail Online
    By Valerie Siebert For Dailymail.com
    Published: 05:08 EST, 28 October 2015 | Updated: 07:40 EST, 28 October 2015


    The 34-year-old tennis champion served as a guest editor on a new special edition of WIRED, and also included an impassioned essay on equality

    Serena singled out the tech industry as one where 'we need to see more women and people of different colors' working in it


    Serena Williams has spoken out against race and gender inequality in schools, sports and tech in a powerful new essay.

    The 34-year-old tennis champion served as a guest editor on a special edition of WIRED magazine, which looks specifically at current issues surrounding gender and race inequality in the digital age, as well as the people fighting for the cause today, and also wrote an essay entitled The Ball is in Your Court for the occasion.

    'I'm a black woman, and I am in a sport that wasn't really meant for black people,' she said. 'I want young people to look at the trailblazers that we have assembled [in this issue] and be inspired.'



    Looking ahead: Tennis champion Serena Williams, 34, has written a passionate essay for a special edition of WIRED, in which she explains how there is still work to be done to achieve gender and race equality

    The Wimbledon winner spoke in her essay about surrounding herself with 'affirmations' - in match books and as her internet passwords - as a means of maintaining a positive attitude, adding that one of her previous affirmations was: 'I will work in Africa and help kids and help people.'

    It was a dream that Serena eventually fulfilled when she opened a school in Kenya in 2008, and later a second one in 2010.

    But in that success, she was faced with another challenge: Getting girls into the schools, and keeping them there, explaining in her WIRED piece that they 'really had to fight' to get have 40 per cent of the students be female.

    'Equality is important. In the NFL, they have something called the Rooney rule,' she wrote. 'It says that teams have to interview minority candidates for senior jobs. It’s a rule that companies in Silicon Valley are starting to follow too, and that’s great.'

    But there is so much more work to be done, Serena explains, particularly in the tech industry, where 'we need to see more women and people of different colors'.



    Like a boss: Serena served as a guest editor on the issue, which featured interviews with many other trail blazers for equality including people in sports, technology and music



    Lofty goals: Serena (pictured with WIRED editor in chief Scott Dadich) told of how she opened a pair of schools in Kenya, but struggled to have girls put into the schools

    'That’s the reason I wanted to do this issue with WIRED,' she said, adding that, 'while tennis isn’t really about the future, Silicon Valley sure is'.

    As for equality movements like Black Lives Matter, Selena had a message: 'Keep it up. Don’t let those trolls stop you. We’ve been through so much for so many centuries, and we shall overcome this too.'

    Speaking more on internet trolls, Selena talked about the moment that Harry Potter author JK Rowling came out in defense of her when a troll replied to a congratulatory tweet to Serena Williams following her sixth Wimbledon with a body-shaming comment. She shot back, calling the user an 'idiot'. Selena cites it as an inspiration for her to stand up in defense of others.

    'It was an amazing feeling - I thought, well, “I can speak up too,”' she said.

    The tennis star finished the essay with a comment on Kimberly Bryant’s Black Girls Code, calling it a step in the right direction.


    Big winner: The Wimbledon champion also opened up about how she was defended against body shamers by Harry Potter author JK Rowling shortly after winning the tournament this summer


    'Keep it up': Selena also lent her support to equality movements such as Black Lives Matter in her essay, telling them not to 'let those trolls stop you'


    'Eventually we’re going to make the world better. For everyone,' she wrote.

    The issue of the magazine also features interviews from 10 other trailblazers across the businesses of tech, fashion, education and more.

    Other featured trailblazers include rapper Common, MMA champion Ronda Rousey, transgender model Geena Rocero and tennis legend Billie Jean King,
    'From Silicon Valley's diversity problem to the digitally enabled nationwide rise of Black Lives Matter, the WIRED world is squarely at the heart of today's conversation about race and gender,' editor in chief Scott Dadich added in the issue's editor's letter.

    'We decided to devote all of our attention to these important matters and dedicate an issue to equality and the future—and we had the great good luck to have Serena Williams join us as guest editor.'




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    All this time, I viewed her as a great tennis player and athlete, who wears ugly clothes.
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    redcat, Belt Up and Sleuth like this.
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    Her father said after a Venus's match against Irina Sparlea ( more than 10 years ago) that Irina reminds him of a big ugly white turkey. But that was not racism I suppose, he's allowed. They can only complain.
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    LOL...
    I tend to think of people like Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe as the trailblazers for our people in tennis; they started their careers during Jim Crow segregation and managed to keep their heads up and Arthur was quite outspoken against racism. But Venus and Serena truly have helped simply by being brilliant athletes.
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    Body shaming? What the hell is wrong with her body?
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    She is telling the truth and I, for one, am glad every time she speaks out against racism in her industry.
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    I am a huge tennis fan and I honestly don't see any racism in tennis. Sloane Stephens was labelled the next big thing ( btw Serena is not even speaking to her since Sloane stopped her in Australian Open), too bad she didn't confirmed (yet).
    There is Francoise Abanda from Canada, she's about 380 WTA. But she played in FedCup for Canada despite her rank. If there so much racism in tennis I'm sure they would have preferred another player. She also received a couple of WC to WTA tournaments(Quebec and Toronto come to mind) where other players much better ranked than her weren't even accepted in qualification draw. I think she's really talented. In FedCUp she won against a top 30 player, Irina Begu. I'm sure other people have seen that too and that's great. I could write many similar stories.
    If Serena is booed , Sharapova was as well on different occasions and that was just as a result of their actions.
    Unfortunately tennis is expensive and many people (of all ethnicities) give up along the road.

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    Serena is one of the most unpleasant people in sports. She's always been a very sore loser. Only now in the last couple of years has she started acting respectful about her losses. She usually has an excuse every time she loses.

    While she is great. And probably the greatest female player ever. T wonder where she would be without the help of chemicals?
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    Her eyebrows. There's too much of them. They overpower her face.
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    I love Serena and she is right. I've seen the article on Daily Mail and everybody comments like "What is she talking about? Did she forget about Arthur Ashe?" And apparently they don't realize that everybody is only mentioning his, thus ONE, name of ONE other black tennis player. Of course there were more, but certainly not a lot. It is, very slowly, getting better.
    And the body shaming? I'm guessing she's referring to people calling her names, that she either looks like a man or a gorilla.
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    Quote Originally Posted by redcat View Post
    I am a huge tennis fan and I honestly don't see any racism in tennis.
    You are looking at it from the outside in. As someone who has actually worked in the profession for years and years don't you think she might know what she's talking about?

    Tennis is like golf. Neither have been very friendly to black people. Venus, Serena and Tiger have all been victims of racist commentary by those in and out of their profession.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HWBL View Post
    I love Serena and she is right. I've seen the article on Daily Mail and everybody comments like "What is she talking about? Did she forget about Arthur Ashe?" And apparently they don't realize that everybody is only mentioning his, thus ONE, name of ONE other black tennis player. Of course there were more, but certainly not a lot. It is, very slowly, getting better.
    And the body shaming? I'm guessing she's referring to people calling her names, that she either looks like a man or a gorilla.
    Jackie Joyner-Kersee went through that same shit. People said she looked like an ape, and it really hurt her feelings.
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    She's also paid less with her sponsorship deals compared Anna Kournikova who hasn't even achieved a fraction of her success but she's pretty and blond.
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    ^^^And Anna isn't even that pretty.
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