Serena Williams has been through a lot since the beginning of her sports career. She got used to everything, but all those cases of discrimination didn’t come to an end even with her pregnancy and maternity.
Maternity leave to blame?
In May 2018, it was announced that Serena Williams will not get ranked after taking maternity leave. Such a statement received a huge wave of disapproval.
This is ridiculous. @SerenaWilliams is a formidable athlete (best ever!) and loving new mother. No person should ever be penalized professionally for having a child! The #WTA should change this rule immediately. #FrenchOpen.https://t.co/W5jQ5aEUXm— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) May 24, 2018
Here’s actually the statement of the French Tennis Federation, according to Reuters:
This year again, tournament officials will establish the list and ranking of the women’s seeds based on the WTA ranking. Consequently, [the seeds] will reflect this week’s world ranking.
What is more, even Maria Sharapova said Serena Williams should be seeded for the French Open, according to tennisworldusa.org:
It's a tough call', Sharapova admitted. 'I would like to see that change. I think that would be nice. I think it's such an incredible effort for a woman to come back from -- physically/emotionally to come back on tour, having a child. I think it's just another whole dimension to the travel, to the experiences, to the emotions, to the physicality of every single day. Tennis is such a selfish sport. But I think when there's a child in your life, you know, you lose a little bit of that because there's something that's so much more important. So, yeah, I definitely would be -- I think that would be a nice change.'
Serena Williams is an example of a woman who can withstand everything. She’s been discriminated lots of times in a number of different ways, but this didn’t break her.
...and it’s that time of the day to get “randomly” drug tested and only test Serena. Out of all the players it’s been proven I’m the one getting tested the most. Discrimination? I think so. At least I’ll be keeping the sport clean #StayPositive— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) July 25, 2018
But I’m ready to do whatever it takes to have a clean sport so bring it on. I’m excited.— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) July 25, 2018
When it comes to drug testing, the thing is the United States Anti-Doping Agency has tested the tennis player 5 times in 2018. However, Sloane Stephens, the winner of the U.S. Open a year ago, has been tested just once. So, where is the rhyme or reason?
Nevertheless, Serena doesn’t have any intentions to give up. And here’s what she says according to Time:
Look at me. I was born this way. They’re like, ‘Oh, she can’t be that great, she must be doing something.’ I don’t even lift weights. It’s all God, you know. But whatever.
I’m a black woman. Women in general are not treated the same as men who’ve had the same amount of success. And then, being a black woman, doing something historically that’s never been done, it’s easy to feel like, ‘We’ve always picked on people of this color. So I’m O.K. to continue to do it.’
High hopes for her daughter
Serena Williams says she hopes her daughter Olympia chooses another kind of sports to pursue, according to her interview. The thing is that choosing tennis will be not even more physically complicated but psychologically, as there will always be lots of comparisons and unnecessary stipulations.
The mother always wants her child to be happy. And that’s what Serena teaches her little daughter with her own example. This woman is hard to break no matter what. So, let’s try to learn from her and be strong every time there is someone trying to hurt us.