There’s no denying the fact that Serena Williams is the greatest athlete ever, but she’s also one of the less endorsed in her sport. Well, least compared to Maria Sharapova. The disparity between Sharapova and Williams’ off-court earnings has been well documented. Tall and blond is obviously more ‘likable’. Sharapova is the highest paid female athlete and not because of victories.
In a recent interview with the New York Times, Williams spoke about the difference between her and Sharapova and those who choose to endorse Sharapova:
If they want to market someone who is white and blond, that’s their choice. I have a lot of partners who are very happy to work with me. I can’t sit here and say I should be higher on the list because I have won more. I’m happy for her, because she worked hard, too. There is enough at the table for everyone. We have to be thankful, and we also have to be positive about it so the next black person can be No. 1 on that list.
Never mind the fact that ‘next’ should be Williams, or should we say ‘current’. But Williams handled the response with dignity as usual.
“Maybe it was not meant to be me,” she added.
“Maybe it’s meant to be the next person to be amazing, and I’m just opening the door. Zina Garrison, Althea Gibson, Arthur Ashe and Venus [Williams] opened so many doors for me.”
As Williams competes in the U.S. Open over the upcoming days, hopefully she’ll show these endorsers what a real winner looks like. Again.
Image Credits: NFL/Getty Images