"For all the ladies out there, yes, we can do it."
So said queen Serena Williams during her moving acceptance speech at this year's "Sportsperson of the Year" awards ceremony, held on Tuesday night in her honor. Serena got real during her speech, addressing, among other things, the racism and body-shaming she's faced in her career.
"I've had people look down on me, put me down because I didnt look like them - I look stronger. Ive 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 launching into a quotation of Maya Angelou's iconic poem, "Still I Rise."
Serena also addressed the recent controversy when some argued that the racehorse (and Triple Crown winner) American Pharoah was more deserving of the title. Serena was undaunted by the (relatively minor) backlash, saying during her speech "Ive lived through tragedies and controversies and horses."
You can watch Serena's powerful speech in its entirety below.