While sitting at a press conference minutes after her finals loss at Indian Wells, Serena Williams blasted the event’s tournament director, Raymond Moore, who was under fire for making sexist comments before the match.
Moore insinuated women tennis players ride on the coattails of male tennis stars. “If I was a lady player, I’d go down every night on my knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born, because they have carried this sport,” he reportedly stated. He also went on to say that there are women more physically attractive and competitively attractive who could assume the mantle of leadership once Serena stops playing.
When asked by reporters about her interpretation of Moore’s comments, Williams said, “I speak very good English. I’m sure he does, too. You know, there’s only one way to interpret that. Get on your knees, which is offensive enough, and thank a man — we, as women, have come a long way. We shouldn’t have to drop to our knees at any point.”
Williams also said that “in order to make a comment [like that] you have to have history and you have to have facts and you have to know things. I mean, you look at someone like Billie Jean King who opened so many doors for not only women’s players, but women’s athletes in general. So I feel like, you know, that is such a disservice to her and every female; not only a female athlete, but every woman on this planet that has ever tried to stand up for what they believed in and being proud to be a woman.”
Executives over at TV network EPIX apparently don’t view Williams as second rate. In June, EPIX will air the Original Documentary Serena, an intimate portrait of the four-time Olympic Gold Medalist and international sports icon. The feature-length documentary explores the pressures that come with being number one in the world, as well as Williams’ unflinching commitment and drive to succeed, ultimately emphasizing the humanity under all of her accomplishments.
“Serena is a personal journey during which we are privileged to follow one woman’s incredible march to achieve a level of greatness that so few tennis players have achieved in the history of the sport,” Mark S. Greenberg, president and CEO of EPIX, said in a statement. The film presents us with a captivating vision of this world-class athlete while offering the viewer rare insight into what makes Serena Williams the person she is beyond the court. Serena transcends the world of tennis.”
Remarked Williams: “2015 was a defining time in my life and career. I think my story will be relatable to audiences, whether you love tennis or not. It’s a story of perseverance, failure and triumph. It’s the most intimate I’ve ever allowed myself to be on film. It was a [little] scary but ultimately really gratifying experience, which I’m hoping inspires others to pursue their dreams.”