Serena Williams just served notice to the world: She's a legend.
Williams sat down for an exclusive hour long candid conversation with Grammy Award-winning artist Common in an ESPN Undefeated interview.
The 22-time Grand Slam title winner talked about racism, sexism and double standards in the sports industry. She explained how she faced many hurdles in her career rising to become one of the world’s greatest athletes, just because she was a woman — and being a black woman added to the discrimination.
Williams also thinks that had she been a man she would have been called the world’s greatest athlete a long time back.
"If I were a man, I would have 100% been considered the greatest ever a long time ago," she said.
"I think being a woman is just a whole new set of problems from society that you have to deal with, as well as being black, so it's a lot to deal with — and especially lately," she added.
"I've been able to speak up for women's rights because I think that gets lost in color or gets lost in cultures."
The 35-year-old athlete mentioned how she had been body shamed on the internet and the insecurities she faced with the ever-increasing European beauty standards.
"There was a time when I didn't feel incredibly comfortable about my body because I felt like I was too strong," she commented.
"I had to take a second and think, 'Who says I'm too strong? This body has enabled me to be the greatest player that I can be.'"
When Common asked her about the first time she realized she was black, William revealed a childhood incident she experienced with her sister, Venus.
“I do remember one time I was playing, and these kids came up behind me while we were practicing and — I was probably, like, 7 — they were calling me Blacky. Me and Venus, they were like, 'Blacky and Blacky.' I remember thinking, 'I don't really care' — and that's pretty crazy to think that at that age."
But for whatever its worth, the most fearsome grand slam champion of this generation is rightfully proud of her identity, she cited that black people remained persistent and survived centuries of oppression and slavery.
"There's no other race, to me, that has such a tough history for hundreds and hundreds of years, and only the strong survive, so we were the strongest and the most mentally tough, and I'm really proud to wear this color every single day of my life."
The fierce athlete is ready to take up new challenges and shake the world in 2017.
Banner/Spot Image Credit: Reuters