Serena Williams might be best known for her tennis skills, but the athlete is also very active in fighting for equality.
During a post-Wimbledon press conference, a bold reporter decided to question Williams’ dedication to the sport after comments made from Billie Jean King.
“There have been a few comments made in the past couple of weeks…that maybe you should stop being a celebrity for a year and stop fighting for equality and just focus on the tennis. How do you respond to that?” they asked.
Without even taking a breath, the tennis pro quipped back, “The day I stop fighting for equality and for people that look like you and me will be the day I’m in my grave.”
Former tennis pro King is one of those voices who expressed that she thought Williams has too much on her plate.
“She’s got a baby, she’s trying to help gender equity, particularly women of colour. But it makes it much harder. I would like her to put everything else aside, because she’s got people working on those things. I wish she would just make a commitment for the next year-and-a-half to two years and say, I’m going to absolutely focus on what’s necessary for my tennis, so when I look in the mirror when I’m older then I can go back in my mind and know I gave it everything I had,” King said to BBC. “Just stop this insanity.”
After Williams hit back, King did semi-apologize. “I would never ask anyone to stop fighting for equality,” King wrote. “In everything she does, Serena shines a light on what all of us must fight for in order to achieve equality for all.”
Williams lost in the Wimbledon final to Romania’s Simona Halep.