Tennis star Serena Williams has spoken out about the racial and gender discrimination she has experienced throughout her career.
The former world No. 1 in women’s singles tennis, Williams has achieved more than many players will over the course of their professional lives. Unfortunately, this has not come without its challenges off the court. After a series of drug tests that she says were ‘randomly’ carried out occurred, she tweeted that it has been ‘proven that she is the one getting tested the most’. This comes following an article recently published by Deadspin, in which they claimed that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency had tested Williams five times already in 2018, ‘more than twice that of other top American women’s tennis players… and more than any of the top five American male players’. A spokesperson for William’s described the testing as ‘invasive and targeted’, as she has never tested positive throughout her entire career in the sport.
Before competing in the final at Wimbledon this year, Williams said she was only made aware of the statistics by the Deadspin investigation. She commented, ‘I’m always getting tested. No matter where I’m ranked. Until I read that article I didn’t realise it was such a discrepancy with me against the other players that they listed.’
The tennis play also addresses the racism she has experienced during her time in the public arena, describing racist abuse from Ille Nastase against her child. She went on to say, ‘I’m a black woman. Women in general are not treated the same as men who’ve had the same amount of success. And then, being a black woman… it’s easy to feel like “we’ve always picked on people of this colour. So I’m O.K. to continue to do it”’.
The USADA have denied the accusations of discrimination.
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