Bleats

Instead Of Demonising Serena Williams With Images That Caricature Her Anger, Let’s Appreciate The Story Told By The Rest Of The US Open Match Photos

Using the angry photos of Serena Williams to justify calling her a sore loser is just lying.

Since Serena Williams’ US Open final against Japan’s Naomi Osaka, everywhere you look there are images of Williams mid-dispute with the chair umpire. Whether it’s a photo from the match or a toxic recreation of the scene, the intention is to portray her as unreasonably aggressive.

We’ve seen a whole lot of Serena Williams pointing a finger in frustration and absolutely nothing of the warmth and support shown to her winning opponent Osaka.

Not to say that Serena Williams isn’t allowed to be angry. Between the condemnation of her on-court outfit, refusal to seed her, and the targeting her for especially-frequent drug testing, Williams has plenty of tennis-specific issues to be angry about. Plus players reacting to umpire calls is normal.

Women, especially black women, have their anger censored all the time. Women are called crazy and melodramatic when they express valid anger. Black people have their rage weaponised against them as confirmation of racial stereotypes.

Serena Williams is not an angry caricature, and she was not a sore loser. You just need to look at the rest of the story.

Here is Serena Williams being the furthest thing from a ‘sore loser’.

Here she is excited for her opponent’s victory.

Instead of turning Naomi Osaka into a faceless prop, we can enjoy these photos of women supporting each other.

Also here is Williams absolutely slaying on court lest we forget amidst the mess that she is the world’s greatest athlete thank you very much.

Are we meant to believe that Serena Williams is a belligerent monster because she got angry? Nah. Here is a photo of her after losing the match.

These are the photos we didn’t see so that Serena Williams could be turned into a stereotype.

It’s easy to reduce Serena Williams to a racist and sexist caricature when you don’t show the whole story.

Terry Crews’ Sexual Assault Lawsuit Settlement Sees His Alleged Groper Out Of A Job And That Is The Kind Of Victory #MeToo Needs

The biggest victory is not a dollar amount, it’s disrupting the system.

Terry Crews has been one of the most prominent male advocates in Hollywood for #MeToo, and his own lawsuit settlement against his alleged groper is both a personal victory and a victory for the movement.

Crews’ settlement deal involves not only financial reimbursement, but also Adam Venit stepping down from his job at the William Morris Endeavor agency.

According to Vanity Fairthe settlement stipulates that in addition to the talent agency paying US$375,000 to Crews to cover his attorney fees, Venit must resign and W.M.E cannot rehire him in any capacity in the future.

The agency has also agreed to improve its internal policies to adequately address sexual assault and battery incidents perpetrated by their employees against clients. Those improvements include new annual training and third party legal validation.

This is the kind of victory we need to create actual change in the industry.

Terry Crews’ story and personal explanation of how race can render people powerless is an important reminder of why the #MeToo conversation needs to be bigger than gender.

And his lawsuit settlement is a reminder that wealthy abusers getting off with cash settlements is not enough. We need people who abuse their power to have that power taken away from them, so that they are not free to prey on more victims.

Terry Crews’ settlement does not just benefit him, it benefits everyone.

Nike Releases Their Full Colin Kaepernick Ad And It Platforms So Many Inspiring Diverse Athletes I Don’t Even Mind That It Is Also Capitalist Propaganda

I definitely tear up when they call Serena Williams the greatest athlete ever because YES.

Since announcing the inspiring ‘Take a Knee’ figurehead Colin Kaepernick as the face of their 30th anniversary ‘Just Do It’ campaign, Nike has copped a mix of extreme praise and extremely laughable conservative rage.

Well, if you thought that Nike’s Colin Kaepernick poster was powerful, the full video ad will ruin you.

They released the two minute campaign on Twitter today and it features an incredible line-up of diverse, iconic athletes who have overcome adversity and made their ‘crazy’ dreams a reality.

The former quarterback is infamously involved in a legal battle with the NFL over the alleged consequences he has faced for protesting police brutality and racial inequality during the national anthem.

So it’s pertinent that Nike is airing the commercial during the NFL season opener on the NBC on Thursday. It’s a power move, and a damn good one.

Of course, Nike has received some criticism by people who agree with Nike’s message but question the authenticity and motive.

There will always be criticism when a company or individual profits off of publicising social justice issues. But the same people will be quick to criticise a company or individual who has the platform and resources to publicise social justice issues, but does not use it.

For example, Beyoncé cops flack for folding feminism into her branding while that branding contributes to the multi-million dollar success of her career. But Taylor Swift is condemned for not using her sway and reach to campaign for a certain political view.

It’s a bit damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

We are living in a world where there is no contribution to progressive discourse that won’t be faulted by someone, somewhere.

And yes criticism is important. In Nike’s case, the criticism of labour rights issues is something that they – along with most global companies – still need to face up to. But that does not mean that they can not and should not contribute at all.

This Colin Kaepernic ad is great. Its heroes are diverse, inspiring, and entirely from groups that face adversity and oppression.

If Nike spends its money and uses its platform so that people, and children especially, can see this content, then that is something to celebrate. Because this is a powerful and necessary message.

There are so many golden moments in the ad, from LeBron James opening a public school and becoming “bigger than basketball”, to Alphonso Davies’ story of coming from a refugee camp in Ghana to playing for Canada’s national soccer team at the age of 16.

But my absolute favourite part is the closing footage of young Serena Williams growing up to become World Champion Serena Williams. Kaepernick narrates,

“And if you’re a girl from Compton, don’t just become a tennis player. become the greatest athlete ever.”

If a company with the international influence and reach of Nike platforming the heroism of people like Serena Williams and Colin Kaepernick is wrong, then I don’t wanna be right.

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