Serena Williams had quite the weekend.
The tennis champion managed to both soak up the sun this weekend and call out the BNP Paribas Open tournament director for his comments about female tennis players. CNN reports that Raymond Moore, the tournament director of one of the most decorated events in the game, suggested women professionals should get “down” on their “knees” every night to thank the male players who paved the way before them.
Moore made the comments during the recent Paribas Open, known widely as the Indian Wells.
“In my next life when I come back I want to be someone in the WTA because they ride on the coattails of the men,” he told reporters, referring to the organization that runs the women’s game. “They don’t make any decisions and they are lucky.
“They are very, very lucky. If I was a lady player, I’d go down every night on my knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were born, because they have carried this sport. They really have.”
Williams was asked about Moore’s comments during the women’s final on Sunday. While Moore apologized for his remarks, the damage was already done. Williams went on to list facts about female professionals, including the strides herself, her sister Venus, and many others have made in the sport:
“I don’t think any woman should be down on their knees thanking anybody like that,” Williams told reporters.
I think Venus, myself, a number of players — if I could tell you every day how many people say they don’t watch tennis unless they’re watching myself or my sister — I couldn’t even bring up that number,” added the 21-time grand slam winner, referring to her older sibling, who has claimed seven majors.
“So I don’t think that is a very accurate statement. I think there are a lot of women out there who are very exciting to watch. I think there are a lot of men out there who are exciting to watch. I think it definitely goes both ways.”
Tennis legend Billie Jean King also chimed in on Moore’s comments.
And Women’s Tennis Association CEO Steve Simon condemned Moore’s comments with a statement of his own via Twitter.
That’s not all; Williams also reminded her fans to love themselves and the skin they’re in. On Saturday, the tennis great posed for a few bikini photos on Snapchat, one of which showed her sought-after arms with the caption, “Strong is beautiful.”
Even though Williams lost the Indian Wells women’s final 6-4 6-4 to Victoria Azarenka, she remained positive and even photobombed the Belarusian player.
Williams’ beloved sport has taken a few blows this year. Moore’s comments come after Russian player Maria Sharapova admitted to failing a drug test when she tested positive for banned doping drug meldonium. Other players were also accused of taking part in match fixing during the Australian Open.
We’re glad Williams can remain positive during the sport’s most crucial moments.