The systemic racism and sexism imbedded in sports reeled its ugly head recently when tennis champion Serena Williams was penalized and subsequently publicly mocked after she called out a ref for accusing her of cheating at the U.S. Open.
Even though Williams ultimately lost the game, the strength she showed in standing up for herself has further solidified her place as a winner, role model and G.O.A.T.
Fellow athlete, LeBron James, is well acquainted with the game of racism in sports. Back in February, Fox News host Laura Ingraham suggested the Laker “just shut up and dribble,” versus advocate for equal rights.
Of course, Black people being viewed as entertainment versus real people has been a longstanding consequence of white supremacy. But LeBron is standing beside Serena in saying enough is enough.
“What we all have to understand is what she is fighting for is bigger than just that match,” James told The Hollywood Reporter.
“She is fighting for equality — always having to win more, more, more, just to feel equal. Being an African-American woman playing in a predominantly white sport, she’s dealing with so much more. I have no idea what was going on in her head, but I feel that struggle.”
James credits the birth of his daughter with his refreshed empathy and understanding towards the topic. Just recently, the NBA star unveiled his new line of shoes designed by Black women. He spoke to his love of Black women as he accepted an award during NYFW.
“I was just thinking about the African American woman,” he began. “There was a very easy example of why I think they’re the most powerful women in the world, because I had that example in my mother, every single day.”
Continuing, “I have so much more of a responsibility to women, in general.”