At 35, Serena Williams has been ranked number one in singles in the world six times, and she holds 22 Grand Slams titles. In 2015, she was justly recognized as Sports Illustrated‘s Sportsperson of the Year. Williams recently spoke with rapper Common for ESPN’s The Undefeated.
Serena Williams shares her thoughts on being considered the greatest woman athlete of all time:
“I think if I were a man, I would have been in that conversation a long time ago,I think being a woman is just a whole new set of problems from society that you have to deal with, as well as being black, so it’s a lot to deal with – and especially lately. I’ve been able to speak up for women’s rights because I think that gets lost in color, or gets lost in cultures. Women make up so much of this world, and, yeah, if I were a man, I would have 100 percent been considered the greatest ever a long time ago.”
On speaking for Injustice:
“It’s very challenging because sometimes when things are blatantly wrong and blatantly unfair and blatantly racist or sexist, I just have to go and put on a brave smile and not let anyone know how I feel on the inside so they don’t get that satisfaction even though on the inside I would be dying.”
On Embracing her Body:
“There was a time when I didn’t feel incredibly comfortable about my body because I felt like I was too strong. I had to take a second and think, ‘Who says I’m too strong? This body has enabled me to be the greatest player that I can be.’
“And now my body is in style, so I’m feeling good about it. [Laughs.] Like, I’m finally in style! It took awhile to get there. I’m just really thankful for the way I was brought up by my mom and my dad to give me that confidence. I could have been discouraged, and I wouldn’t be as great as I was because I would have done different exercises or I would have done different things. I totally embrace who I am and what I am.”