US tennis star feels some people don’t want Black players to succeed
(Reuters) – tennis star Serena Williams said on Monday she was “absolutely shocked” by the racial controversy surrounding U.S. women’s Olympic team’s decision to admit two African-American players and announced the decision on Wednesday.
Serena Williams (C) and her sister Venus pose for photographers during the media day at the French Open tournament in Paris, France February 5, 2016. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau
“I think it’s just shocking to me because you can see the joy in their faces,” Williams said on the Fox Sports-televised NBC women’s program “Meet The Press.”
“So, I would say if I had the power to change that, I would do it in a heartbeat,” she told moderator David Gregory.
“And I just wish to God there’s not going to be another controversy because I definitely think that’s the one that the American public didn’t want to see,” Williams said.
“It happened. We have to move forward,” she told Gregory. “But I’m as surprised as you are.”
The controversy began when Williams spoke on NBC’s coverage of the Aug. 5-23 French Open as the U.S. women’s national team took on Australia in the main draw.
Earlier that day, the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) had announced that Serena and sister Venus would play the doubles matches at the French Open.
The doubles players would be unseeded.
The U.S. team, which won the gold medal in the Beijing Olympics last year, has been criticized by some black and Hispanic players who believe they have been unfairly “sanctioned” in the team.
A number of U.S. stars, such as WNBA player Skylar Diggins and NBA players Joakim Noah and Thabo Sefolosha, have also spoken out about the