“I don’t cheat to win. I’d rather lose.”
Serena Williams’ MESSage was loud and clear at the U. S. open final. For many of us, this match was a ball of emotion no matter what side you were rooting for. Among recent controversy, Serena has been using more than her tennis moves to make waves, but her words have been on the forefront from combating body shaming and the policing of women’s bodies to standing up against the sexist inequalities so commonly found in the sport of tennis. Each word that has come out of Serena’s mouth has been more powerful than the impact of the racket that caused her warning.
Black women are continuously being counted out before they can even play in the game. It seems as if every day we have to fight for something. Just when we thought the war was over, it’s just begun. As women of color, it gets frustrating to combat for a position that our names were never intended for. Even when we’re doing our best and going above and beyond, there is still a possibility of being called a cheater and feeling deprived of the very points that we work so hard to make in life, just as Serena was robbed of hers. Whether it’s equal pay or integrity in a tennis game, we must continue to stand our ground for what we know as our truths.
“I’ve seen other men call other umpires several things. I’m here fighting for women’s rights and for women’s equality and for all kinds of stuff. For me to say ‘thief,’ and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark.”
As Serena is fighting for inequality and women’s rights, her words of affirmation and authority are continually being discounted and described as a disgrace, a temper tantrum, and even a meltdown by those who have absolutely no authority to speak the truths of black women period. Amid the backlash from opposing parties, Serena has stayed true to her stance to continue to uphold women’s rights and the rights for not only herself, but her legacy behind her. She’s representing for us well, but most of all, she’s making an strides in the world that her baby girl will soon play a huge part in. When challenged, she can also feel confident to destroy any racquets that gets in her way. - wriiten by Erin Myers of Favored Freauxs, LLC