US tennis star feels some people don’t want Black players to succeed
Serena Williams admitted that she was worried when she started to realise that Black players were not winning the sport.
Williams started playing tennis at the age of 7 and said she was “worried” about the state of the sport in the United States, where she began playing.
“When I started to realise that Black tennis was not as strong as their White tennis counterparts, I felt a bit nervous,” Williams told the BBC in a rare interview. “When I look at our sport, our sport is in a state. It’s not as strong as ours is and I had trouble seeing it.”
According to Williams, this worry was compounded by the fact that many White tennis players were willing to play against Black tennis when they came to the US. During a match in the US Williams recalls that she was worried about a certain player playing against her.
“I was like, ‘Who is this person who is playing against me, what is it about?’ But there was a story that they would not play Black tennis,” said Williams.
She added that the “biggest problem” she faced in terms of the lack of Black tennis players in the country was the fact that the US tournaments did not feature them. This caused some Black athletes to not want to play the sport because they did not feel part of the “white tennis culture.”
“They like to play in the whites-only tournaments,” explained Williams. “I was like, ‘OK, but there’s an injustice to the Black people that are in the US tournament but not in the tournaments.’ I mean, there’s an injustice, the whole black tennis is not in US tournaments. I don’t agree with that.”
‘I don’t regret it’
Williams has been outspoken about the race problem in her sport, and has made a name for herself on the International tennis calendar.
“I don’t regret it,” added Williams, speaking about the race controversy in the US. “Not because of any reason. I had to do that because it was about our sport, and our sport was not doing well. When I started playing in the