Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams
Ahead of the US Open, Serena Williams discussed not only her tennis game but also how she deals with racism in pay disparity and in news coverage.
When asked about the fact that her “rival” Maria Sharapova was ranked higher than her on Forbes’ list of highest paid athletes, despite the fact that Williams leads Maria 18-2 in their on-court meetings, Williams said eloquently:
"If they want to market someone who is white and blond, that’s their choice. I have a lot of partners who are very happy to work with me. I can’t sit here and say I should be higher on the list because I have won more. I’m happy for her, because she worked hard, too. There is enough at the table for everyone. We have to be thankful, and we also have to be positive about it so the next black person can be No. 1 on that list. Maybe it was not meant to be me. Maybe it’s meant to be the next person to be amazing, and I’m just opening the door. Zina Garrison, Althea Gibson, Arthur Ashe and Venus opened so many doors for me. I’m just opening the next door for the next person."
Well said, Serena!
Williams is set to compete in the U.S. Open next week. She has won the past four Grand Slams, and a win at the U.S. Open would be her first Calendar Year Grand Slam.
You can read the full NYT interview here.