Serena Williams may have lost the Wimbledon final, but the tennis star is still a champion when it comes to the fight for equality.
During a press conference over the weekend following her match against Simona Halep, a reporter asked Williams to respond to Billie Jean King’s comments that Williams should focus more on her game and less on her activism if she planned to win Wimbledon.
“The day I stop fighting for equality and for people that look like you and me will be the day I’m in my grave,” the 23-time Grand Slam tennis champion said.
Part of King’s comments in June touched on the fact that Williams has a lot going on in her personal life, which takes away from tennis.
“She’s got a baby, she’s trying to help gender equity, particularly women of color,” King had said. “But it makes it much harder. I would like her to put everything else aside, because she’s got people working on those things.”
King added, “I wish she would just make a commitment for the next year-and-a-half to two years and say, I’m going to absolutely focus on what’s necessary for my tennis, so when I look in the mirror when I’m older then I can go back in my mind and know I gave it everything I had.”
After Williams’ response, King took to Twitter to clarify her remarks.
“I would never ask anyone to stop fighting for equality,” she tweeted. “In everything she does, Serena shines a light on what all of us must fight for in order to achieve equality for all.”
And fans weighed in too..
“Maybe everyone should stop telling Serena what to do,” wrote one fan.
“Fighting for equal rights and being the best aren’t mutually exclusive,” shared another.
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