She has 21 Grand Slam singles titles. She has four Olympic gold medals. She has won close to $80 million in prize money since her career took off in 2007. Serena Williams, for all intents and purposes, is a tennis goddess. And yet? We see even otherworldly figures have haters.
The younger sister of the Williams sister duo is currently prepping for her Wimbledon finals match against Germany’s Angelique Kerber. However, it’s her quarterfinals match against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova that’s got the Twitterverse in a craze.
Obviously, Serena would go on to win this match against the Russian native. But Twitter didn’t care about that. They cared about Serena’s choice of Wimbledon attire. Shocking, we know, the world comments on how women should dress.
Could we rewind to Donna Vekic’s match against Venus Williams this past Monday? The Nike dress worn by the Croatian tennis pro was called everything from a ‘nightie’ to a ‘negligee’ as its loose fit and weightless material exposed a great deal more than it covered. Every time Vekic would serve, the dress would rise and uncover the athlete’s whitie-tighties.
Both Wimbledon and the tweeters took notice. Even though Nike denies it to CNN, there was a rumored email sent to Nike’s sponsored players that read: “We need to make a small change to your dresses per Wimbledon rules. Could you please bring them by the Nike Wimbledon house.”
Serena Williams even opted not to wear the ‘Premiere Slam’ style by Nike during her Wimbledon matches, after it caused heightened controversy in the qualifying rounds.
Unfortunately, that did not deter fans from moving on to her Wimbledon ensemble. In Nike’s mock turtleneck style with a pleated skirt, Williams stepped onto the grass courts of Wimbledon, unaware her nipples would be the topic of conversation.
Glad serena Williams is out so I don’t have to see her constant nipple erection
— Liam Firth (@liamfirth95) July 1, 2013
I bet you free the nipple would be a much more legit rally to stop oppression if instead of Miley, Serena Williams was the spokes person.
— Pat Curry (@PatrickCurry6) November 9, 2015
Some acknowledged the ludicrousness of the conversation.
A woman called Serena Williams does very well in tennis & guess what makes news-Her Nipple baring Top.*SLOW CLAPS* https://t.co/wqf6zu6ZgP
— Himachali Tweeter (@TweeterHimachal) July 7, 2016
Even offering another victim for the Twitter roast.
— Andrea Hearn (@AnnieH1706) July 7, 2016
While in the midst of the body shaming chaos, Serena tweets.
In London I have to wake up to this. He was black. Shot 4 times? When will something be done- no REALLY be done?!?! pic.twitter.com/OaLn60G6nm
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) July 7, 2016
Thus, bringing us back to reality and conversation worth having.
Before you tweet about undoubtedly one of the greatest female athletes of our time, perhaps edit out the part where you talk about her body rather than her talent. Her nipples rather than her mind. Her heart, which asked the world to focus on the injustices of racial discrimination, even in the midst of global scrutiny and harassment.
Rethink what you’re saying and then hopefully, we can reimagine a world that tweets about something more than an errant and irrelevant ‘nipplage’.