Serena WIlliams is known for her muscular build and aggressive playing style on the tennis court, traits that have helped her achieve sports stardom. However, despite winning the French Open for the third time in her illustrious career on Saturday, Williams continues to be on the receiving end of racist and sexist remarks about her body and appearance. Sure, the brunt of the ugly comments comes from online trolls, but interestingly, Jenee Desmond-Harris of Vox Sports, points out, many racist and sexist comments come from those in the media, and are thinly veiled. These negative tweets and online remarks are couched in a history of sexualized scrutiny of the black female body, hearkening to the legacy of “Hottentot Venus,” an African woman who was displayed as a freak show to European audiences in the 19th century. Many media outlets, sportscasters, and even fellow athletes have described Williams as ugly, bulky, and animalistic — reflecting a time in America’s past when “black” was equated to “savage” — instead of concentrating on what really matters: her remarkable competitive edge in a time-honored sport.
Read more at Vox Sports.