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“Sponsors Weren’t as Supportive” – Serena Williams on Struggles of Being an African-American



Serena Williams

Former World No.1 Serena Williams recalled how it was like to be on the tour when she got bigoted treatment from her opponent, crowds, sponsors, and everyone because she is black.


Williams revealed that she and her sister Venus Williams had gone through a lot when they started to play professional tennis in the 90s. However, the Williams sisters were never afraid of being black in tennis. They always let their racquet do the talking.

Serena Williams

Serena recalled that the sponsors refused her in the 90s as she is an African-American. She revealed that one of the main things that she and Venus went through and still go through are people saying this is our sport. People say to them that they’ve never seen anyone that looks like them that is their color that has come into the sport.

Serena Williams Speaks

“We don’t really like it, we’re gonna play you harder, we’re gonna do things to win to look different so we can have this opportunity when you’re not gonna play everyone else like this but it gives you that is what we are going to do,” she said in an interview with Naomi Campbell.

Serena Williams

“There were a lot of things that we had to go through” – Serena Williams
“Also, just having to deal with different sponsors, they weren’t as supportive because I’m an African-American what was in black basically. So that is also interesting. Then just you know when you are coming into a sport like tennis where historically it has been hundreds and hundreds of years of people that are white and that are successful and that are doing really well,” she added.

Serena Williams

Serena also recalled that people used to say that you can’t really play tennis and it was told to so many years that you can’t come into tennis unless you’re really wealthy and you can afford the equipment and the clubs to go play at.

“But Venus and I were able to change that narrative and say like actually people who have less can do better because they were want to work even harder and they want to be able to improve the situation. There were a lot of things that we had to go through. For me, I had that awful experience of being booed by the entire crowd,” she concluded.

Serena Williams

The Williams sisters are in the late half of their careers. However, they have already proved the world that anyone can achieve anything with hard work and passion. They have inspired many through their journeys and are role models for millions around the world.

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