“A lot of people don’t know my whole life I’ve had to deal with so many different challenges. I’ve had to deal with a lot of inequality; I’ve had to deal with racism. And honestly, sadly it has become, unfortunately, somewhat of a norm for people that have my skin color.
It’s something I ultimately think that systematically we just have to deal with,” said Serena Williams. She is the greatest tennis player of all time followed by hordes of fans around the world. And she could be the best antidote against racism, thanks to her popularity and commitment, she can raise awareness among the masses of people on a topic that has been provoking protests all over the world in recent weeks.
The video of George Floyd’s death, which occurred on May 25, officially due to a cardiac arrest but, as everyone has seen in the video, probably due to police officer Derek Chauvin who pressed his knee on George Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds and the other agents do nothing to stop him, scandalized the world.
Protests and demonstrations have occurred in many parts of the globe, both peaceful demonstrations and demonstrations of violence. The case of Floyd is the pinnacle of an iceberg: other videos related to abuse of power and death of other people were shared which triggered further protests.
Tennis stars can use their popularity to send a positive message against racism and hatred
The best way to combat racism is to change people’s mentalities, even in those places where there are deep-seated ideologues, where supremacy is seen by many (erroneously) as a right of white people.
Changing people’s mindsets is a difficult game, especially in radicalized realities, but famous people like sportsmen always have an advantage: they can pass on their messages so that all people in the world can listen to them.
Serena Williams and her husband Alexis Ohanian did it in the past few days. “White America, we need to do better!” said Ohanian. “What I believe and what the Bible teaches, is that there is so much more waiting if we exercise faith.
I wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t black,” said Serena. Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit has said he is stepping down from the board of the company and asking that he be replaced with a more diverse candidate. Serena Williams tweeted that she was proud of her husband’s decision.
“Having several views on any boards is important. So proud of you Alexis. I know Olympia will be too.” Many other stars such as Cori Gauff, Naomi Osaka, Ivan Ljubicic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, expressed their solidarity and their thoughts against racism.
Serena Williams and all those who have the opportunity must always try to get a positive message and raise awareness: they are the best antidotes against racism.