Pop Culture

8 Times Serena Williams Won At Life Off The Court

As Serena Williams is coming off of an upset - losing her attempt at a 23rd grand slam title for the second year in a row - all is not forgotten. She may have temporarily slipped from her 186-week streak as the world's number one tennis athlete (literally), but there's more to Serena than just dominating the racket world. She is queen off the court, too.

Here are 8 times the queen of tennis won at life off the court, too. 

1. That time she absolutely slayed her Sportsperson of the Year cover for Sports Illustrated, and then twerked next to Beyonce as she emulated the badassness of it all.

In case you've been able to miraculously escape the world of Beyonce 2016, Serena Williams appeared in the highly acclaimed visual album Lemonade for the visual of "Sorry," and the two played goddesses lounging around their mansion entertaining each other while bashing their no-good men. It's awesome. Not only does Bey give a nod to Serena's accomplishments while imitating her accomplished pose on the chair, but Serena gives (the best nod she can) to Bey's greatness as a dancer. You can tell the two enjoyed the hell out of each other, even though there's always going to be someone with something to say. But #Victory, nonetheless.

2. That time she put a tournament director's sexist comments on blast.

Early in 2016, Serena didn't hold her tongue when the director of Indian Wells' Tournament Raymond Moore had the nerve to assert that women tennis players wouldn't be anywhere if it hadn't been for the men. Mind you: this came just one year after she had just stopped her 14-year boycott of the tournament (which was due to racism she and her family experienced over a decade before). Her return was triumphant, but this guy...

"There's only one way to interpret that," Serena responded. 'Get on your knees,' which is offensive enough, and 'thank a man'? We, as women, have come a long way. We shouldn't have to drop to our knees at any point. You look at someone like Billie Jean King, who opened so many doors for not only women's players but women's athletes in general. So, I feel like that is such a disservice to her and every female - not only a female athlete but every woman on this planet - that has ever tried to stand up for what they believed in, being proud to be a woman."

Rightfully, Moore ended up resigning from his position afterward. #Victory

3. How about that time she ignored the haters and spoke up about police brutality, instead?

While Serena was busy having an historic semi-finals at Wimbledon, some people were busy talking about the outfit she had on. Someone even asked the internet if they should report her nipples to the BBC to "complain." Apparently, her white dress was causing her body to show its natural state, and some people could not deal. Meanwhile, the first thing Serena addressed when she got off the court was the despicable and heartwrenching killing of Philando Castile, due to police violence.

4. Or how about that time she was the reason two major artists were beefing?

Everyone's looking at you, Common and Drake. Serena may be over at least one of them now, but there was a time when the two were feuding over her love. Particularly, Serena had moved on from Common (who was still deeply in love with her) and began publicly making out with Drake. It all started when Common referred to "soft rappers," and he most definitely was talking about the one and only Aubrey. Aubrey retaliated on "Stay Schemin'." Common counter-retaliated on "Stay Schemin' (Remix)". And then it went into full-blown diss records. Ah, definitely the way to a woman's heart: two men proving they're petty and not worth the time. So adorable.

5. That time she was too real for a reporter.

One reporter made the horrible decision of asking Serena why she isn't smiling. Kind of like after you've had a longass day, and then some strange man on the street yells out to you to smile because it'll make him feel better. Well, only this time Serena had just won the U.S. Open after a longass, physically and mentally exhausting day. Still, he managed to ask this: “Normally, you’re smiling when you win. You laugh. What is this tonight? Is it because you beat Venus? Are you thinking about what’s coming up next?”

Her answer? “It’s 11:30… To be perfectly honest with you, I don’t want to be here. I just want to be in bed right now and I have to wake up early to practice. And I don’t want to answer any of these questions. You guys keep asking me the same questions… You’re not making it super enjoyable. Just being honest.” Welp! Watch below.

6. When she stood up for equal pay.

When Serena chimed in on the subject of equal pay by way of Melissa Harris-Perry, she commented on the strides the U.S. women's soccer team was making in challenging the unfair differences between male and women sports.

"These sports have a lot of work to do," Williams said. "And I really hope that I can be helpful in that journey because I do believe that women deserve the same pay. We work just as hard as men do. I’ve been working, playing tennis, since I was three years old. And to be paid less just because of my sex—it doesn’t seem fair. Will I have to explain to my daughter that her brother is gonna make more money doing the exact same job because he’s a man? If they both played sports since they were three years old, they both worked just as hard, but because he’s a boy, they’re gonna give him more money? Like, how am I gonna explain that to her? In tennis we’ve had great pioneers that paved the way—including Venus, who fought so hard for Wimbledon to pay women the same prize money they pay men, and Billie Jean King, who is one of the main reasons Title IX exists."

7. Let's talk about the time she was a real life superhero and saved her phone from a thief.

No, really, this is a true story. After the whole ordeal went down, Serena took to her newly recovered cell phone and spilled the deets about the heroic act on Facebook. Appropriately, it accompanied a photo of her donned in a Superwoman suit. 

“[S]o this guy is standing next to me and something (I have now dubbed it my SUPERHERO sense) told me to watch him," it began. "My phone was sitting in the chair but I just didn't feel right. He was there too long….Then when least expected low and behold this common petty thief grabbed my phone and swiftly left. “He began to run but I was too fast. (Those sprints came in handy) I was upon him in a flash!”

The rest is history. Read in full below.

8. All those many times she granted mercy to idiots talking negatively about her amazing body and her black-and-proud stance.

"I've had people look down on me, put me down because I didnt look like them - I look stronger," she said during her Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year acceptance speech. "I've had people look past me because the color of my skin. Ive had people overlook me because I was a woman. Ive had critics say I would never win another Grand Slam when I was only at number seven - and here I stand today with 21 Grand Slam titles, and I'm still going," she said before quoing a piece of Maya Angelou's iconic poem, "Still I Rise."

And still, the naysayers live on. Talking specifically about her body image and racist remarks comparing her to a race horse, she had this to say to Guardian: “For every negative comment, there’s a million good comments. I always say, ‘Not everyone’s going to like the way I look.’ Everyone has different types. If we all liked the same thing, it would make the world a really boring place! What matters most is that I like myself... [I've been described as] too muscly and too masculine, and then a week later too racy and too sexy. So for me it was just really a big joke.”

Laugh on, queen!

[Photo: Getty Images, Instagram]


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