Serena pitches for equality in sports

Serena Williams has been very vocal on the gender pay gap ever since the issue resurfaced this year after the chief executive of the Indian Wells tournament, Raymond Moore, said women players ride on the ‘coattails of the men’.

"It is my hope that my story, and yours, will inspire all young women out there to push for greatness and follow their dreams with steadfast resilience. We must continue to dream big, and in doing so, we empower the next generation of women to be just as bold in their pursuits," wrote Serena.   -  Getty Images

In an open letter for Porter Magazine’s December special issue, Serena Williams has once again expressed her ‘frustration’ on the prevalence of gender inequality in sports. “When the subject of equal pay comes up, it frustrates me because I know firsthand that I, like you, have done the same work and made the same sacrifices as our male counterparts. I would never want my daughter to be paid less than my son for the same work,” she has written.

Serena Williams has been very vocal on the gender pay gap ever since the issue resurfaced this year after the chief executive of the Indian Wells tournament, Raymond Moore, said women players ride on the ‘coattails of the men’. Soon after, Novak Djokovic stoked the fire by seeking more pay for men. This, despite tennis being among the sports that has progressed to paying equally for men and women in all the four Grand Slams (US Open – From 1973, Australian Open – 2001, Roland Garros – 2006, Wimbledon – 2007) and other top Tour events.

After taking on Novak Djokovic for the comments, which he consequently retracted and apologised for, Serena Williams took on a journalist for using the phrase ‘one of the greatest female athletes’ during Wimbledon, taking strong exception to the world ‘female’ in the description. In the letter published in the December issue of the fashion magazine, the 36-year-old has reiterated her point. “Do they say LeBron is one of the world's best male athletes? Is Tiger? Federer? Why not? They are certainly not female. We should never let this go unchallenged. We should always be judged by our achievements, not by our gender.”

It was not the first time that Serena has expressed her angst against societal norms and the prejudices.



>Stay encouraged Sisters

A photo posted by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) on Dec 4, 2016 at 7:05am PST



After winning the Sports Illustrated’s 2015 Sportsperson of the Year award, Serena said: "I’ve had people look down on me. I’ve had people put me down because I didn’t look like them—I look stronger. I’ve had people look past me because of the color of my skin. I’ve had people overlook me because I was a woman. I had critics say I will never win another grand slam when I was only at number seven and now here I stand today with 21 grand slam titles and I’m still going."

Midway through the Wimbledon this year, a video montage released by BBC had Serena Williams reciting Maya Angelou’s poem ‘ > Still I Rise . It was a moving rendition on racism and a refusal to give in.

Now, in a moving 370-word letter aimed to inspire and empower women, Serena has discussed how the society is still not supportive enough of the choices women make but wills every woman to get inspired by her story of struggles and successes and push for greatness.

Way to go, Serena!