Serena Williams Spoke Out About Being "Underpaid, Undervalued" As a Black Woman

"I’ve never been like anybody else in my life, and I’m not going to start now."

new york, new york   september 09 23 time grand slam champion, olympian  designer serena williams speaks during real talk with two female champions inspiring the next generation as a part of nyfw the talks presented by wheaties at spring studios during new york fashion week the shows on september 09, 2019 in new york city photo by manny carabelgetty images
Manny CarabelGetty Images
  • Serena Williams is the latest cover star of British Vogue.
  • In her cover interview, she spoke about being "underpaid, undervalued" as a Black woman.
  • "Someone in my position can show women and people of colour that we have a voice, because Lord knows I use mine," she continued. "I love sticking up for people and supporting women. Being the voice that millions of people don’t have."

    Serena Williams, the indisputable GOAT, has faced incessant racism and misogyny throughout her awe-inspiring career. And in her new cover interview with British Vogue, she reflected on being "underpaid, undervalued" as she established her place in the tennis world. "[But] I’ve never been a person that has been like, ‘I want to be a different colour’ or ‘I want my skin tone to be lighter,'" she added. "I like who I am, I like how I look, and I love representing the beautiful dark women out there. For me, it’s perfect. I wouldn’t want it any other way."

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    Williams also spoke about this year's Black Lives Matter protests following murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others as a result of police brutality and anti-Black racism. "Now, we as Black people have a voice—and technology has been a huge part of that," she said. "We see things that have been hidden for years; the things that we as people have to go through. This has been happening for years. People just couldn’t pull out their phones and video it before."

    "At the end of May, I had so many people who were white writing to me saying, 'I’m sorry for everything you’ve had to go through.' I think for a minute they started—not to understand, because I don’t think you can understand—but they started to see," she continued. "I was like: well, you didn’t see any of this before? I’ve been talking about this my whole career. It’s been one thing after another."

    Williams also spoke about using her vast platform to elevate other marginalized voices. "Tennis is a small play in the whole scheme of things," she said. "In this society, women are not taught or expected to be that future leader or future CEO. The narrative has to change. And maybe it doesn’t get better in time for me, but someone in my position can show women and people of colour that we have a voice, because Lord knows I use mine. I love sticking up for people and supporting women. Being the voice that millions of people don’t have."

    "I’ve never been like anybody else in my life," Williams said. "And I’m not going to start now."

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