*When Serena Williams lost at the Wimbledon finals, she held a press conference where she said, “The day I stop fighting for equality and for people that look like you and me will be the day I’m in my grave.”
Now, this may seem like it is not related to her loss at the finals but this statement was made in response to a female reporter’s statement. This reporter had said, “…stop being a celebrity for a year and stop fighting for equality, and just focus on the tennis.”
Why the Reporter Said What She Said
According to sources, Billie Jean King, a personal colleague and hero to Williams was the first person to point this life dilemma out. King said, “I don’t know if she knows what she wants right now or not. But as you get older, you have to work harder.”
King continued to explain that Serena Williams is juggling her business, being a mother, managing King’s leadership initiative, and on top of it all, she’s fighting for gender equity for women of color. This is why Billie Jean King said that the entire burden makes slamming the ball much harder than it really is.
Why Serena Williams Can’t Give Up on the Fight
Williams, while speaking in a different interview, had to say that she is now in the rare position to be more financially successful than she could have ever imagined. She says that she had the talent and still had to work really hard to get to the top.
She continued to say that now that she is where she is, her life isn’t about her anymore. Her life and her money are now about the other 23 million women of color in America. She thinks about them because she believes that she would be where the others stand if she hadn’t picked up her tennis racket. This thought is what keeps her working a little more every day for all those women.
What These Women Are Facing
Williams said that it is much harder to break the cycles of sexism, discrimination, and poverty as opposed to breaking records at those Grand Slam titles. She even believes that for every woman who rises to power in America, it is very difficult to forget those that are still struggling.