Serena Williams has vowed she will not be “silent” on issues of social injustice as she reflected on the recent deaths of African-American men at the hands of law enforcement.
In a heartfelt post on her Facebook page, the tennis superstar said she felt moved to speak out after being unnerved at the sight of a police officer while being driven by her 18-year-old nephew. “Today I asked my 18 year old nephew (to be clear he’s black) to drive me to my meetings so I can work on my phone,” the former world number-one wrote.
“In the distance I saw cop on the side of the road. I quickly checked to see if he was obliging by the speed limit.
“Than I remembered that horrible video of the woman in the car when a cop shot her boyfriend. All of this went through my mind in a matter of seconds.
“I even regretted not driving myself. I would never forgive myself if something happened to my nephew. He’s so innocent. So were all ‘the others’,” Williams added.
“Why did I have to think about this in 2016? Have we not gone through enough, opened so many doors, impacted billions of lives? But I realised we must stride on -for it’s not how far we have come but how much further still we have to go,” she wrote.
“I then wondered, have I spoken up? I had to take a look at me. What about my nephews? What if I have a son and what about my daughters? As Dr. Martin Luther King said ‘There comes a time when silence is betrayal’. I won’t be silent.”
Williams joined a high-profile group of athletes speaking out about social injustice. San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem in the preseason and has been joined by athletes nationwide.