Serena Williams: “I Won’t Be Silent”

In a day and age where NFL athletes are taking a knee and MLB stars are being suspended for tweets regarding protesters, Serena Williams has made headlines with a Facebook post.

On Wednesday the tennis icon wrote a lengthy post explaining why she won’t be silent any longer when it comes to race relations and police-involved incidents in America, saying she “won’t be silent.”

Williams had a moment of reflection after sighting a police car by the roadside during a car ride with her teenage nephew on Tuesday.

“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,” Williams wrote.

“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.”

Williams was probably referring to the case of Philando Castile, who was shot after he was pulled over in Minnestoa with her girlfriend in the passenger seat and child in the car.

Castile’s girlfriend caught the aftermath of his death on video saying police shot him as he was putting his hands up. The officer was heard in the video saying he told Castile “not to reach for it”, which he was referring to his licensed pistol.

Williams also references other police killings. She then writes, “I am a total believer that not “everyone” is bad It is just the ones that are ignorant, afraid, uneducated, and insensitive that is affecting millions and millions of lives.”

The 22-time grand slam champion says she has decided to act now and in the future, referencing a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King.

“I than wondered than 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”.”

Williams Post

Williams isn’t the only athlete to have spoke up this week. Basketball’s Lebron James said in an interview Monday that the thought of his son getting pulled over driving when he is old enough is “a scary situation,” adding “that if my son calls me and said he’s been pulled over, that I’m not that confident that things are going to go well and that my son is going to return home.”

In July 2016 another NBA legend spoke up as well, also referring to not staying silent just as Williams did. Michael Jordan broke his silence with a statement to the Undefeated.

“As a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers,” he said. “I know this country is better than that, and I can no longer stay silent.”

Williams statement comes after the protests in Charlotte, North Carolina last week following the fatal police shooting of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott, whose death comes as he was exiting her car in a apartment complex’s parking lot. Police were there to serve a warrant to someone else when they encountered Scott. The encounter escalated and the facts of the incident are still being debated.