Following recent incidents in which black men have been shot and killed by police officers, many public figures have spoken out against the brutality. Sports stars such as Colin Kaepernick, Cam Newton and Michael Jordan have weighed in on the issue.
The latest is tennis great Serena Williams, who took to Facebook to share a personal story. Williams says that she had her 18-year-old nephew drive her to some meetings on Tuesday so she could do some work on her phone en route. When Williams spotted a police officer on the side of the road, she says she thought of the woman who was taking a video as police shot her boyfriend while she was in the car. It seems Williams is referring to the shooting of Philando Castile in Minnesota in July.
“All of this went through my mind in a matter of seconds. I even regretted not driving myself. I would never forgive myself if something happened to my nephew. He’s so innocent,” she wrote.
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Williams continued that she does not believe everyone is bad; there are just some who are “ignorant, afraid, uneducated and insensitive.”
“Why did I have to think about this in 2016? Have we not gone through enough, opened so many doors, impacted billions of lives? But I realized we must stride on — for it’s not how far we have come but how much further still we have to go,” she said.
She concluded with a powerful statement: “I won’t be silent.”
Williams is no stranger to speaking out about racism and sexism. At the Indian Wells tournament in California in March, Indian Wells Tennis Garden CEO Raymond Moore made some controversial comments regarding the Women’s Tennis Association. Moore said that the WTA “ride[s] on the coattails of the men.”
In response, Williams said, “Last year, the women’s final at the U.S. Open sold out well before the men. I’m sorry, did Roger [Federer] play in that final or Rafa [Nadal] or any man play in a final that was sold out before the men’s final? I think not.” This year was only the second year Williams was back at Indian Wells, following a 13-year hiatus that began after she said fans made racist comments to her and her family at the tournament.