The many obstacles a woman has to face in today’s society has not vastly improved over the years. Unfortunately, it’s a far too common circumstance for the likes of quite possibly ‘The World’s Greatest Tennis Player.’
Serena Jameka Williams, national tennis superstar holds prestige credentials in the sport, to name a few such as; Grand Slam Singles 23 titles, Women’s doubles 14 titles having never lost. Mixed doubles 2 titles and 4x Olympic Gold Medalist; an insanely impressive Singles record of 801 Wins with a percentage of 85.49% win rate.
Unfortunately being a woman isn’t the only problem for Serena; being black and having a non-stereotype physique that separates you from the rest of the competition puts you at the forefront to unfair judgement and criticism because a flawless performance can’t be mocked and ‘Stat’s don’t lie.’
From a young age of only 10-years-old, Serena demolished her opponents at National Junior level with a record of 46 Wins - 3 Losses. Being this talented at such a young age comes with consequences, Serena then went on to fight a battle she is still fighting today against racism. As a woman, Serena also has the task to tackle sexism she faces in tennis where male players are treated with more tolerance. Whereas for example this past Saturday at the US Open, we watched the umpire Carlos Ramos penalise Serena for a coaching violation from her coach Patrick Mouratoglou, she was then docked a point for a second violation for smashing her racket and then a third violation for challenging the umpire on his decision by slating him a ‘thief’.
Although unsportsmanlike conduct is something I am certainly not promoting and by all means, an athlete should always behave in a professional manner. You can’t help but sympathise with the backlash of this behaviour due to the consistent obstacles this great athlete has been facing, from her amateur career to her professional career and still. Then came along an Australian newspaper cartoon by Mark Knight, a distasteful image projecting racism, sexism and discrimination to this world-class athletes appearance.
Serena Williams, amongst dealing with all this adversity, all the racism and all the sexism is still able to be ‘The World’s Greatest Tennis Player!’ No one is perfect but if you can take all of that into account and hold yourself the way Serena William does then that is a champion on and off the court. Not to mention the countless charity work she does, the school she has built and the road she has pathed for the next generation of athletes.
‘I don’t cheat to win. I’d rather lose.’
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