Editor’s note: This article mentions and discusses suicide.
The greatest women’s tennis player of all-time has lent her public support to Meghan Markle, a day after the now-former Duchess of Sussex’s revealing interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Serena Williams took to social media to not only back her “selfless friend,” but also share her own experience with sexism and racism.
“Meghan Markle, my selfless friend, lives her life — and leads by example — with empathy and compassion,” said Williams. “She teaches me every day what it means to be truly noble. Her words illustrate the pain and cruelty she’s experienced.”
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) March 8, 2021
Racism and sexism were a theme during the interview, with Markle saying a member of the Royal Family expressed concern over the skin tone of her first child with Prince Harry.
Markle confessed that she had suicidal thoughts due to the relentless scrutiny from the UK media, coupled with the lack of support she was given from the Royal Family.
“I know first hand the sexism and racism institutions and the media use to vilify women and people of color to minimize us, to break us down and demonize us,” said Williams. “We must recognize our obligation to decry malicious, unfounded gossip and tabloid journalism. The mental health consequences of systemic oppression and victimization are devastating, isolating and all too often lethal.”
“I want Meghan’s daughter, my daughter, and your daughter to live in a society that is driven by respect.”
“Keep in your memory the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control. Against such things, there is no law.”