serena williams sj

Serena Williams knows sexism when she sees it

In response to Serena Williams standing up against sexism at the U.S. Open, a racist cartoon portrayed one of the world’s best-conditioned athletes as a fat, angry mammy character more suited to Gone With the Wind than the top tier of international tennis.

To underscore the point, cartoonist Mark Knight of the Herald Sun in Australia whitewashed Williams’ U.S. Open opponent, Naomi Osaka, also a woman of color, portraying her as a waiflike figure with blond hair.

But this is nothing new for Williams. She’s had a personal relationship with prejudice ever since her father, Richard Williams, pushed her and her sister Venus into the lily-white world of tennis. And the fact that it is such familiar territory for Serena is the very reason we must take her seriously when she says that sexism in tennis is real.
The incident in question, when Williams confronted chair umpire Carlos Ramos after Ramos accused Williams of cheating by getting coaching during the match, was one of many flash points in her storied career.

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