Black, Woman, Winning: So why does everyone hate on Serena?

July 21, 2015

Black, Woman, Winning: So why does everyone hate on Serena?

Alert: long blog and a girl crush will be revealed!

I am back after several days away enjoying the east coast, including the rain and humidity. I attended an awesome blogging conference by BlogHer and sheknowsmedia and have a renewed inspiration after all the women I met doing their thing. It inspired me to write about a woman who is doing her own thing as well…

As you all know Serena has won Wimbledon completing her second Serena Slam. That means she holds all the consecutive Grand Slam titles in tennis at one time. I will talk more about that Serena slam, grand slam, etc… The last time she did this was back in 2002-3. Yup, she has been in the game that long…not many people can say that.

Serena, at the ripe old age of 33 – which is extremely old for tennis, is the oldest woman on the tour, holds 21 Grand Slam titles – second only to Steffi Graf who holds 22, and is now 250 weeks at #1. Whew! Just thinking about it gives me goosebumps.

Serena is the greatest tennis player of my life time and quite arguably of all time especially WHEN – not if, but when she surpasses Steffi Graf.

This has been a pretty crazy week for Serena and I love reading and hearing her accomplishments. What I do not love are the haters. Serena and her sister Venus have been referred to as manly, masculine, brothers by the likes of New York Times writers, other tennis players and their entourage, and presidents of federations to name a few…I have never seen a man look like this:

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or this:

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So why the hate? I have three answers: black. woman. winning. This hatred is not only seen in the press but is also trickles down to the numbers.

Let’s talk about those numbers shall we. Numbers are a nice easy way to express the facts. The fact is Serena makes less than her counterparts in endorsements and sponsorships.

Forbes recently published the top earning athletes’ numbers based on winnings and endorsements. Just to throw it out there Floyd Mayweather is #1 raking in 300 million thanks to the “greatest fight of all time” – you can read about that here.

Here is how Serena compares to her counterparts.

Serena made 24.6 million. That’s 11.6 million in winnings and 13 million in endorsements.

Her white female counterpart, Maria Sharapova, made 29.5 million –  6.7 million in winnings and 23 million in endorsements.

BTW: Serena has beaten Maria the last 17 times they played leading her 18-2 in their series, including the most recent Wimbledon Semifinals where Serena took her out in straight sets. Serena did not only beat Maria, she annihilated her. The commentators even took note, embarrassing Sharapova more than Serena did.

Serena’s male counterpart, Roger Federer also 33, holds only 17 titles yet made 67 million – 9 million in winnings and 58 million in endorsements. Much respect to Roger Federer as a player but he’s not even really winning anymore!

Finally, Serena’s male winning counterpart, Novak Djokovic, only holds 9 titles yet made 48 million – 17.2 million in winnings and 31 million in endorsements.

Just a recap of those facts: Serena has been in the game longer, won more titles, makes more in winnings and yet she still gets paid less by endorsements! Why you ask? My three answers come up again: Black. Woman. Winning.

Even during the Wimbledon tournament, Serena faced quite a bit of scrutiny due to her 3 set match against the Brit Watson, playing her sister, beating Azarenka and Sharapova and in the Finals by beating the young Muguruza. It almost seems like she can’t do anything right so she just continues to do what she does best. Win. And oh does she do it well.

Despite all of this, I have to give Serena much props for continuing to make her presence and essence known in a positive light in the media. She does a great job of transcending the race issue, the gender issue, and the critique. She refuses to let her identity be defined by those three things and lets her winning do the talking.

I especially love that Serena does not seclude herself into one community but has inserted herself into every community as we can see with her Vogue cover:

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and her recent jaunt with Taylor Swift and friends. (I am sure Taylor told her that the haters are gonna hate hate hate and to shake it off.)

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Oh yeah Serena speaks French too!

Something we can all learn: diversification. It is the only way to rise to the top and clearly Serena is on top.

With all that said I have to congratulate Serena Williams for being the 2015 Wimbledon Women’s Champion and for being the GOAT.

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Most of all I have to congratulate Serena because she is a black woman and winning in every sense of the word!

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Alright enough of this political stuff…Here’s what’s happened and happening in sports this past weekish:

Tennis

I already talked about Serena but here’s how she won…

Serena Williams beat Maria Sharapova in straight sets in the Wimbledon Semifinals. She then met Garbine Muguruza of Spain in the Finals and beat her in straight sets.

The Joker rises again…

Novak Djokovic beat the King of Grass, Roger Federer, in the Wimbledon Men’s Finals in 4 sets despite Roger’s dominate tennis play in Wimbledon. Roger even took out Andy Murray in straight sets in the Semis.

Congratulations to Novak Djokovic – the 2015 Wimbledon Men’s Champion!

Golf

Sorry no slam for you…

Zach Johnson is the British Open winner. Why is this important? Well one is from Iowa – I love my Midwest –  and 2 because he beat out the other golf name you have been hearing a lot about recently: Jordan Speith. Jordan was going for his own kind of a slam after winning the Masters and U.S Open this year. Alas Zach Johnson will keep that from him. There will always be next year.

Congratulations to Zach Johnson the 2015 British Open Champion!

Show Me the Meaning

Serena: she be slamming…

Alright I know you must feel lost with all this slam talk. I was lost. So I am going break it down for you slam style:

Grand Slam: A grand slam means a major title in professional tennis. There are four major titles to win in professional tennis. These include in order of occurrence during the year: Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open. The title can be won in all of these following categories: Men’s singles, Women’s singles, Men’s and Women’s doubles and Mixed doubles.

Roger Federer holds the most men’s singles grand slam titles in history.

Additionally grand slam also means winning all four titles in professional tennis in these following ways:

Calendar Grand Slam: A single player can win all four grand slam titles in one tennis season. The season starts in January and ends after the summer, but mostly with the US Open in September.

Serena has never held the calendar grand slam, but is hoping to do it with the US Open this year. Of note Steffi Graf does!

Career Grand Slam: A career grand slam involves winning all four major titles in a player’s career. It does not have to be in the same calendar year.

Rafael Nadal has won a career grand slam once.

Serena Slam: Serena has held 4 consecutive major titles at once. She did it in 2002-3 and has done it again with her Wimbledon win.

Thank you for reading my Serena-loving blog. I have a girl crush that’s like Serena, isn’t going anywhere. I hope you share this blog and my love for Serena!

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