Serena Williams Shares Letter of Support, Acknowledges Racism Following Meghan & Harry's Oprah Interview

“The mental health consequences of systemic oppression and victimization are devastating, isolating and all too often lethal.”

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(Image credit: Getty Images)

After last night’s bombshell tell-all interview with Oprah, Serena Williams shared a message of love and support for her friend Meghan Markle. The CBS primetime special shared heartbreaking details about the marginalization of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at the hands of "The Firm," which led to suicidal thoughts for Meghan. The Duchess also shared a disturbing account of the racism that she–and her infant child Archie Harrison–had endured.

Williams wrote, “Meghan Markle, my selfless friend, lives her life–and leads by example–with empathy and compassion. She teaches me every day what it means to be truly noble. Her words illustrate the pain and cruelty she’s experienced.”

The tennis champion went on to acknowledge her own experiences with institutionalized racism and sexism. She wrote, “I know first hand the sexism and racism institutions and the media use to vilify women and people of color to minimize us, to break us down and demonize us.”

In a reference to Meghan’s struggle with thoughts of dying by suicide, Williams continued, “The mental health consequences of systemic oppression and victimization are devastating, isolating and all too often lethal.”

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“I want Meghan’s daughter, my daughter and your daughter to live in a society that is driven by respect.”

Read the full statement below:

Meghan Markle, my selfless friend, lives her life–and leads by example–with empathy and compassion. She teaches me every day what it means to be truly noble. Her words illustrate the pain and cruelty she’s experienced.

I know first hand the sexism and racism institutions and the media use to vilify women and people of color to minimize us, to break us down and demonize us. We must recognize our obligation to decry malicious, unfounded gossip and tabloid journalism. The mental health consequences of systemic oppression and victimization are devastating, isolating and all too often lethal.

I want Meghan’s daughter, my daughter and your daughter to live in a society that is driven by respect.

Keep in your memory the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

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(Image credit: Marie Claire)