We’re a couple of days removed from Serena Williams’ 5th singles triumph at Wimbledon (followed by Serena and Venus winning their 5th doubles title), and in addition to a less than Algonquin-quality discussion on Mad Dog Radio Saturday about the sisters’ sex appeal (or alleged lack thereof), there’s this.
D.K. Wilson — consistently one of the more thoughtful writers on matters pertaining to sports and race — has a number of bigger observations about the state of tennis fandom in the USA, but his musings on Serena and Venus are equal parts poignant and sobering.
We live in a country where sports management companies coach Black U.S. Olympic athletes to praise God in a way that overtly say, I am a Christian,” after winning events so as to mollify the largely White viewing audience that still believes our African-American President – really, he is half African – is some sort of secretly nationalist, militant, Kenyan Mau-Mau Marxist socialist, who just can’t wait to win a second term so he can demand that every White American empty their pockets to fund the, Repatriate Descendants of Slaves, Executive Order; to pacify a White viewing audience that would just love to awaken tomorrow to find that “Tebowing” while facing Bethlehem is a mandatory morning classroom salutation in public schools.
This is the country where a Black woman and her older sister can win 10 of the last 13 Wimbledon Finals, not be the most popular female athletes In America, have the sisters’ family be booed mercilessly, while the younger sister is called a “nigger” during the match’s changeover.
In this country, Serena and Venus Williams can lose their closest relative outside of their immediate family, Serena can have a brush with death due to an illness, Venus can have a debilitating disease that leaves her nearly too tired to walk, yet they are not noted by every American sports fan as two of the most endearing – for their perseverance in the face of adversity – athletes in all of sports.