Advocating for Women’s Rights On and Off the Court

By Maia Fulton

Serena Williams at the 2018 US Open.

Serena Williams has been a prominent figure in fighting for women’s right for years due to the fact that she is a black woman in an industry that often treat women unfairly compared to their male peers.

This past weekend, Williams proved once again, why the conversation of women’s rights is important, even in the game of tennis. Williams was accused of “cheating” by being coached from the sidelines. Williams then confronted the umpire explaining that she would never cheat and that her coach was simply just giving her a thumbs up. She stated that she “would rather lose than to cheat”. However, Williams was still penalized for cheating and had a point taken away. Expressing her frustration, Williams threw down her tennis racket accidentally causing it to break. She then received another penalty, this one resulting in the loss of a game. This means that an entire game was given to her opponent, Naomi Osaka. She then went over to the umpire and demanded an apology for unfair treatment exclaiming that male tennis players often react much worse and don’t receive any consequences.

In a press conference after the match, Williams was asked numerous questions regarding the match and how she handled having to lose a game due to calling the umpire a thief. When asked how she would explain what happened to her daughter, Alexis, once she’s old enough she explained that if her daughter was to ask about it she would explain to her that she stood up for what she believed in. At the end of the conference she also expressed that this moment could help women in the future who are standing up for what they believe in and that it did not work in her favor this time but maybe in the future it can work for someone else.

This isn’t the first time Williams has been faced with adversity in her sport. Just last month she was prohibited from wearing a bodysuit that prevents blood-clots because it was deemed inappropriate. However, with Serena Williams being the powerhouse that she is, she overcomes every adversity and obstacles and continues to fight. There is no doubt that she will ever stop fighting for fair and equal treatment. She’s making history and creating a platform that will allow women in sports to receive the respect they deserve.

Serena Williams wearing a black jumpsuit that prevents blood-clots at the 2018 French Open.

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