All Articles Tagged "serena williams"
In addition to sharing her (wrong-headed) thoughts about the 16-year-old Steubenville rape victim (she’s since tried to explain the controversial comment), Serena Williams shared some of the financial advice Oprah Winfrey once gave her in her Rolling Stone profile.
Today, Serena mother-hens every expenditure. “I’m an athlete and I’m black, and a lot of black athletes go broke. I do not want to become a statistic, so maybe I overcompensate. But I’m paranoid. Oprah told me a long time ago, ‘You sign every check. Never let anyone sign any checks.’ ”
The article attributes part of her caution to her background, a childhood in Compton where money was scarce. Therefore, as an adult, she’s mindful of every dime.
But in many ways, this really should be the rule. No one, rich or poor, should relinquish responsibility for their personal finances. How many celebs turn around later and say, “I had no clue!” Or, “My manager/advisor/friend/banker stole money from me!” Even if you’re not signing “every check,” sitting down to go over your books with those who are managing your finances are a must.
The article wraps up by asking how long Serena can dominate women’s tennis. If her health holds out and she continues to love the game, the answer is “As long as she wants to.” She’s certainly not playing because she needs the money.
Serena Williams Issues Statement On What She ‘Supposedly Said’ About Steubenville Rape Victim In Rolling Stone
Serena Williams is attempting to do damage control after the disparaging comments she made about the 16-year-old Steubenville rape victim in Rolling Stone went viral. But I’m guessing the tennis pro is going to have to try a lot harder than this, because her explanation sounds a lot like reality TV stars claiming what we see of them on camera isn’t accurate. Basically, she’s passing the buck.
Here’s the statement Serena placed on her website, SerenaWilliams.com.
“What happened in Steubenville was a real shock for me. I was deeply saddened. For someone to be raped, and at only sixteen, is such a horrible tragedy! For both families involved – that of the rape victim and of the accused. I am currently reaching out to the girl’s family to let her know that I am deeply sorry for what was written in the Rolling Stone article. What was written – what I supposedly said – is insensitive and hurtful, and I by no means would say or insinuate that she was at all to blame.
I have fought all of my career for women’s equality, women’s equal rights, respect in their fields – anything I could do to support women I have done. My prayers and support always goes out to the rape victim. In this case, most especially, to an innocent sixteen year old child.”
So, what do you think? Is this enough to restore your faith in the tennis champ and the part she plays in rape culture?
What Are You Trying To Say? Serena Williams Says Steubenville Rape Victim ‘Shouldn’t Have Put Herself In That Position’
Tennis pro Serena Williams is feeling a lot of heat after an interesting interview with Rolling Stone magazine went live on their website. The piece, which is an introspective profile of the athlete, was going fine for 7/8ths of the way, but when this year’s French Open winner weighed in on the notorious Steubenville rape case with some rather controversial comments, the entire article went left. Here’s the except that has people talking:
We watch the news for a while, and the infamous Steubenville rape case flashes on the TV – two high school football players raped a drunk 16-year-old, while other students watched and texted details of the crime. Serena just shakes her head. “Do you think it was fair, what they got? They did something stupid, but I don’t know. I’m not blaming the girl, but if you’re a 16-year-old and you’re drunk like that, your parents should teach you: Don’t take drinks from other people. She’s 16, why was she that drunk where she doesn’t remember? It could have been much worse. She’s lucky. Obviously, I don’t know, maybe she wasn’t a virgin, but she shouldn’t have put herself in that position, unless they slipped her something, then that’s different.”
It was a mere 129 words of the easily 3,000-word plus article, but it’s all anyone is talking about, expressing extreme disgust and disappointment in the 31-year-old who, honestly, doesn’t provide social commentary on much. Unfortunately, one of the few times she does, she comes off as a victim-blamer, which would be bad enough coming from anyone. But when the source is a highly-regarded American athlete who’s also a woman, the backlash is severe.
While Serena has yet to do damage control when it comes to her statements, the opposition is littering Twitter with plenty of responses to her remarks. Like:
Wow, SO disappointed in @serenawilliams‘ comments. Stunned.
— Karen W (@kdub10s) June 19, 2013
— Carrie Fuller (@carrieSfuller) June 19, 2013
Serena Williams should apologize every two minutes because that’s how often someone is sexually assaulted in the United States.
— Frank Spinelli (@spinellimd) June 19, 2013
Despite Serena’s comments truly not being anything knew, any suggestion of personal responsibility when it comes to rape victims has historically been frowned on, which is why Serena is feeling the flame from the major fire she set off right now. But is she wrong? What do you think about her comments?
Rack ‘em up!
Serena Williams picked up her second French Open trophy on Saturday as she defeated second seed Maria Sharapova in the finals, 6-4, 6-4.
Williams holds on to her spot as the number one women’s tennis player in the world. At age 31, she’s also the oldest number one seed in the history of women’s tennis. As the winner, Williams walks away with a check for almost two million dollars.
In the first set, Sharapova won the first two games but Serena came back with a vengeance. Although she won in straight sets, this was not an easy match; Sharapova continued to give everything she had. In the end, however, Williams’ new-found dominance on clay proved to be too much for her.
This win was eleven years to the day that Serena last won and is also the last time an American won the French Open, according to NBC Sports.
Serena Williams becomes just the fourth woman in Open Era to win each grand slam multiple times (Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert and Steffi Graf are the other three).
Congrats to her!
Essence is still switching it up on us, so much so that they’ve even named Serena Williams guest editor of the July 2013 issue she’s covering.
Marking her third time as an Essence cover girl, Serena is appropriately guest editing the magazine’s “body issue,” set out to encourage black women to “Love Your Body!” as the headline suggests.
Serena certainly knows the work it takes to have a healthy sense of self-love, as her body isn’t exactly the common type seen on tennis courts around the world. And even when the stares come from a place of flattery — like black men’s love for her derriere — the tennis pro has still had to learn how to take it all in stride. Serena told the magazine she has her late sister Tunde to thank for her ability to embrace her curves. And when it comes to the attention her frame garners, she told the mag:
“It can be a bit weird,” she admits. “Before it was, ‘Serena has a big butt,’ and that was all. Now there are way more people who feel comfortable with themselves and they’re saying, ‘I’m a woman, and this is what I look like.’ I always say, ‘We’re popular now! We’re finally in style!’”
Thank God for that! Beyond embracing her physical aesthetic, Serena also shared her struggle to get back to the top of her game after fighting a pulmonary embolism two years ago, and how she has managed to be in the best shape of her life at 31.
The issue hits newsstands today. Will you pick it up?
It looks like everything Sloane Stephens and Serena Williams are BFFs again – or at least they can stop giving each other the stank eye.
According to Sports Illustrated, Stephens, who is a rising star in the tennis world, tweeted out on Tuesday that she and Williams had “straighten[ed] out the controversy” around comments she made in ESPN The Magazine in which she denounced media reports that two had a close friendship. In fact, Stephens said that after pulling an upset over Williams in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, the two hadn’t spoken and Williams had even stopped following her on Blackberry messenger and on Twitter. From the ESPN article: “She’s not said one word to me, not spoken to me, not said hi, not looked my way, not been in the same room with me since I played her in Australia,” Stephens says emphatically. “And that should tell everyone something, how she went from saying all these nice things about me to unfollowing me on Twitter.”
When asked about the Stephens comments, Williams took a different, more oblivious stance, telling reporters, “I don’t really know. I don’t have many thoughts….I’m a big Sloane Stephens fan and always have been. I’ve always said that I think she can be the best in the world. I’ll always continue to think that and always be rooting for her.”
To be honest with you, outside of hearing about the Williams sisters domination in the sport, I have no interest in tennis. With that said, this sort of situation that transpired between Stephens and Williams is not exclusive to the tennis world. And I don’t want to make this a gender thing but it has been my personal experience that women tend to have these sort of weird beefs, which seem to materialize out of what a person hasn’t said or done. I used to think that it was because women were crazy. But now I think it is a matter of good old fashioned competition.
And I’m not talking about the competition most think of when they think of women. You know, the kind which usually spawns out of mutual interest in the same men or the same outfit; I’m talking about women trying to out-do each other in the workplace; in schools and even in the club.
Like a few weeks ago, I was dancing with a bunch of friends at a club and I must have been really getting my two-step on that night because this young woman came out of nowhere and started dropping it all hot in front of me. At first I thought she was just being a hype white girl, trying to do that whole ‘look-at-me-dance-with-black-people-’ thing that they do. But the expression on her face as she dipped it low – and struggled to bring it back up again – told me that she was really serious. She was subtly trying to challenge me to a dance-off. I turned my back on Ms. Save the Last Dance.
Part of me was flattered as maybe those Zumba classes has given me better hip to foot coordination. And truthfully, there is nothing wrong with competition. It’s good for business, particularly for customers as it helps keep the prices low. And men are regularly praised for their competitive spirits. And in my younger years – and if I really knew how to dance – I would have probably playfully given Ciara’s illegitimate sister a run for her money and likely not sweated the outcome.
But we also have to recognize when our natural competitive spirit is becoming unhealthy. And that’s the other part, which had me annoyed by the situation. Like why did this stranger approach and challenge the only black girls dancing, in a sea of non-black girls dancing? I wasn’t even the best dancer in the place. There were a group of white girls on the other side of the room, getting it in way better than any of us black girls were at the time. So why did she have to try to take my shine from me?
I definitely sense some underlying competitiveness in this Stephens and Williams situation, which might have more to do with off-the court than on. Part of this is fueled by the media’s constant comparison of the two, particularly christening Stephens as the next Williams. I mean, just because they are the only two black high-profiled tennis players outside of Venus (who folks rarely talk about these days) in a sport dominated by non-black women, doesn’t mean they have to be compared to each other. I mean is it inconceivable to compare Stephens to Maria Sharapova or a Victoria Azarenka? Or better yet, let her be great on her own?
Yikes, Sloane Stephens and Serena Williams have beef.
After the rising tennis star totally upset her ‘mentor’ in the Australian Open quarterfinals, it turns out Serena hasn’t spoken to the young athlete.
“She’s not said one word to me, not spoken to me, not said hi, not looked my way, not been in the same room with me since I played her in Australia,” Stephens said in an interview with ESPN the Magazine that was conducted prior to the U.S. Fed Cup win over Sweden last month, when both were on the team. “And that should tell everyone something, how she went from saying all these nice things about me to unfollowing me on Twitter.”
Read more at EurWeb.com.
For many celebrities, a chunk of the bread and butter comes from side hustles as product spokespeople. And more companies are turning to a diverse group of celebs to serve as the face of their products. For example, we reported recently on new gigs for Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas and astronaut Dr. Mae Jamison were just tapped as spokespeople for two separate major advertising campaigns. There have however been some notable campaigns using black spokespeople. We take a look at some of our favorite African-American celebrity spokespeople.
Last month we told you that über talented sisterly duo Venus and Serena Williams would be starring in a documentary that would recount their remarkable climb to tennis stardom. Venus and Serena, which is scheduled to hit theaters May 10th offers an in-depth look at their humble beginnings and their father’s relentless determination to make them the top two tennis players in the world. A brief description of the doc found on the film’s website reads:
“Ever since Venus and Serena Williams started playing in tennis tournaments, they’ve provoked strong reactions – from awe and admiration to suspicion and resentment. They’ve been winning championships for over a decade, pushing the limits of longevity in such a demanding sport. How long can they last? In Venus & Serena, we gain unprecedented access into their lives during the most intimidating year of their career. Over the course of 2011, Venus grappled with an energy-sapping autoimmune disease while Serena battled back from a life-threatening pulmonary embolism. Neither Venus nor Serena let their adversities hold them back. They drew their greatest strength from each other.”
Magnolia Pictures has since released their official trailer for the movie and if the trailer serves as any indication of how good the actual documentary will be, fans will not be disappointed. Opening with a young Venus accompanied by her sister on a tennis court, both girls express that they’d like to grow up to be tennis players.
“To Black girls from Compton who probably weren’t ever supposed to play tennis, let alone be really good at it. My Dad had one of the most revolutionary ideas when it came to changing the game,” says Venus.
“I had written a plan before they were born, 78 pages. The plan was for both of them to become number one in the world,” revealed Venus and Serena’s Dad Richard Williams.
Venus went on to laugh about her parents predicting that she’d be number one in the world and drilling it into her so much that she was “brainwashed.” The doc will also offer a peek into some of the life-threatening health woes experienced by the Williams sisters and how they dealt with them.
“I wanted to go out for sure and know that I couldn’t play,” Venus said of her determination to play despite her ailment.
As previously stated, Venus and Serena is available on iTunes and is slated to hit theaters May 10th!
Check out official the trailer below.
If you ask me, I’m surprised it’s taken this long for the phenomenal Williams sisters to get a documentary. Their story is the stuff of legend. They overcame obstacles like a dangerous environments, lack of access and racial discrimination to go on to become the greatest female tennis players the game has ever seen.
Despite their public success, the Williams sisters have managed to keep certain details about their personal lives and secrets to their immense success on the low. Now, in a 100 minute documentary, directed by Maiken Baird and Michelle Major and edited by the two will share the complexity of their lives. According to Tennis Now, the documentary will shed light on their remarkably inspiring story:
“Venus and Serena takes an unfiltered look into the remarkable lives of the greatest sister-act professional tennis has ever seen. In a sport where they were not welcomed, the indomitable Williams sisters faced the opposition with grace and courage not only breaking new ground for female and African-American athletes everywhere, but dominating the women’s game for over a decade. The film tells the inspiring story of how these two women, against all odds, but with the help of visionary parents, made it to the top.”
And while the film is going to uplift you, it’s also going to expose some of their personal hardships and even controversies associated with their lives and careers, like the affair, divorce and second marriage of their father Richard. The film will also include interviews with everyone from Bill Clinton to Chris Rock to Anna Wintour speaking about the sisterly duo.
The documentary, which has already been screened at several film festivals, has been well received. Magnolia Pictures will release the film on iTunes On Demand April 4 and it will hit theaters on May 10.
Check out a short preview of the film on the next page.