Opinion: Serena Williams Pens Open Letter in Harper’s Bazaar About Needing Therapy After Losing to Naomi Osaka

Serena Williams wrote a brutally honest open letter for the August issue of Harper’s Bazaar. The tennis legend opened up about her reign as the greatest tennis player of all time and her devastating loss to Naomi Osaka. The letter detailed feelings she’s felt throughout her illustrious career. Those emotions ranged from pride to guilt. Williams also discussed needing therapy after her 2018 loss to Naomi Osaka at the US Open.

Although Williams’ career is unmatched regarding championships, her ascension to icon status wasn’t a smooth ride. In the past, media and tennis officials demonized, body-shamed and targeted her because she’s an unapologetic Black woman. Williams has been subjected to insurmountable bias because she refused to fold under the pressure of being the greatest athlete in the world in a predominantly white sport.

Related Story: Serena Williams Has Every Right To Be Upset About Being Excessively Drug-Tested

She eloquently penned words in Harper’s Bazaar that many Black women have felt at some point in their lives — present company included. Williams’ vulnerability was something unseen outside of Black spaces. Black women, especially, are expected to exude strength at all times.

“Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve felt a need to voice my opinion and be heard. Some may not like it, and to be honest, that’s their prerogative. I respect it. Growing up as the youngest of five girls, I learned that I had to fight for everything I wanted. And I won’t ever stop raising my voice against injustice.”

Williams, admittedly, blew up at one situation which marred the beauty of another. Many people heard about the $17,000 fine she paid for becoming angry when she felt she was mistreated at the US Open in 2018.

Her loss at the US Open to Osaka did not represent putting an old horse out to pasture but rather a passing of the torch to the next generation. Tennis isn’t a typical “Black sport,” but Black excellence commanded the game for almost two decades and still does today.

Related Story: UPDATE: Serena Williams to US Open Official: ‘Because I’m a Woman, You’re Gonna Take This Away From Me’

A meaningful and significant moment between Williams and Osaka was lost due to inequities in the tennis world. Unfortunately, Williams carried the burden of all those inequities on that fateful day. A day she replayed in her mind continuously. The injustices committed against Williams made her never want to pick up a tennis racket again. So much to the point, she needed therapy.

“I started seeing a therapist. I was searching for answers, and although I felt like I was making progress, I still wasn’t ready to pick up a racket,” Williams, 37, wrote in the letter. “Finally, I realized that there was only one way for me to move forward. It was time for me to apologize to the person WHO deserved it the most. I started to type, slowly at first, then faster as if the words were flowing out of me.”

She lamented over the chance to relive that moment again with Osaka with no drama. She wished for a do-over that would have allowed the G.O.A.T. of tennis to lovingly and gracefully escort the young, new champion to her throne while Osaka gave her the reverence she deserved.

Williams poured those emotions into a letter via Harper’s Bazaar that Osaka read. The young champion’s response brought the legend to tears.

In a world where Black women face obstacles over and over again, the ability to maintain grace under fire is paramount for us. On those rare occasions, when we lose our heads even if it’s justified, we must also hold ourselves accountable and make amends when we hurt others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Latest News

LGBTQ diversity

More LGBTQ+ Employees Comfortable Expressing Sexuality, Gender at Work

There have been significant strides in LGBTQ diversity and inclusion in the workplace nationally and globally. For example, according to the Human Rights Campaign report, A Workplace Divided: Understanding the Climate for LGBTQ Workers Nationwide, 46% of LGBTQ workers say they are closeted at work, compared to 50% in Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2008 Degrees of…

Wells Fargo’s Gigi Dixon Contributes Black History Month Piece to Business Insider

Georgette “Gigi” Dixon is senior vice president and senior director of external relations for national constituents at Wells Fargo. In this role, she leads and coordinates Wells Fargo’s engagement and outreach to national non-government organizations and key stakeholders with the goal of promoting Wells Fargo’s policy priorities. She published a…

Accenture Technology Vision 2020: From Tech-Clash to Trust, the Focus Must Be on People

Originally posted on Accenture.com To compete and succeed in a world where digital is everywhere, companies need a new focus on balancing “value” with “values,” aligning their drive to create business value with their customers’ and employees’ values and expectations, according to Accenture Technology Vision 2020. The 20th edition of Accenture’s…

AbbVie to Present at the SVB Leerink 9th Annual Global Healthcare Conference

Originally posted on AbbVie.com AbbVie, a research-based global biopharmaceutical company, will participate in the SVB Leerink 9th Annual Global Healthcare Conference on Tuesday, February 25.  Michael Severino, M.D., vice chairman and president and Robert A. Michael, executive vice president and chief financial officer, will present at 9:30 a.m. Central time. A live audio webcast…

TIAA Logo

TIAA: Howard University Event Focused on Solving Financial Challenges, Building Economic Strength of African American Community

Originally published on tiaa.org. TIAA and AARP sponsored event featured industry experts, including CBS National News Correspondent, Michelle Miller. On January 31, Howard University convened an important event focused on enhancing the economic strength and financial wellness of African Americans. The event, sponsored by TIAA and AARP, brought together industry…