US tennis star feels some people don’t want Black players to succeed
By Ben Gollner · March 15, 2018
The Wall Street Journal’s tennis writer Ben Greenfield is not going to be surprised when he hears that Serena Williams is “doubling down” on her recent stance about race. Why else does the 35-year-old Williams, who has been criticized for not being an inclusive person, now claim that white women shouldn’t feel comfortable competing in the US Open after she had a hard time getting into the stadium on Monday during the first day of competition.
“I don’t know what’s going on out there other than people not wanting me to win,” she said during the post-match press conference. After having not been in attendance at the tournament since 2014, Williams had originally told the press that she would be going in person to the opening match on Monday, but when the tournament director, Barry Hearn, told her that there would be many empty seats around the stadium in that part of the stadium, Williams said that she had the right to choose where she would sit.
During her post-match press conference, Williams repeated that she wanted to go, but that the arena management had told her that they wouldn’t let her in without a ticket. “There is no way you can guarantee the best seats,” Williams said, and she was not allowed to enter the stadium.
When the woman seated next to her was told that she couldn’t sit next to Williams because she was black, the woman asked Williams if she was afraid for her safety. Williams then responded that she isn’t, or at least she wasn’t afraid at that moment in time and was only concerned about her image with the general public.
“Well, my problem is that I’m not white and I don’t want white competitors,” she said. “I do want to be there, and I want to be there as a black person. But that’s not what’s important,” she said.
Williams has been the most successful black athlete in women’s tennis since her 2011 win of the US Open Championship. Last week she had the unenviable task of facing off against the reigning Wimbledon Champion, Serena Williams, who is the reigning women’s champion. She was supposed to