Serena Williams and the trope of the 'angry black woman'


Staff member
As much as I respect Serena Williams, her actions overshadowed a young woman winning her first major title. I couldn't help but feel for Naomi Osaka and having the shine taken off her achievement. There is a time and place and I think Serena got it wrong.

Point of correction
Anger has no race.

BBC - stop highlighting Serena and for once focus on the winner.

This was a SEXIST thing not racial. If Del Potro, Murray, or Federer did the same thing they would NOT have been punished. Why is a man even the chair umpire in the Womens final?????

Just angry woman would do but her behaviour was ridiculous regardless. She has been in this game long enough to know exactly what she was doing
🤨 all this controversy over racism and sexism has taken away from the fact she did wrong.

I think fame, fortune and success have blurred Serena's common sense. This has got nothing to do with being a woman or being black. Grow up and take responsibility for your actions. That's what we teach kids right??

How much BS can journos write about this story! Botton line is that she broke the rules 3 times! This should be the issue and not gender or race.

She’s losing all credibility, everyone forgets she jumped ahead of qualifiers to gain a Wimbledon card cause she was pregnant, something only women have a privilege for.

So many people here who want to tell black people that their experience of racism is incorrect. If people if colour tell you that this feels racist to them, then listen to that rather than trying to dismiss other people's expertise of their own lives.

She looks angry but I’m not sure what her colour has to do with it?

If she was any kind of sports person, shed suck it up ,apologise and take it on the chin graciously. It has nothing to do with race ,sex, it has everything to do with ,manners,graciousness,and humility . Which she obviously has none. The entitled generation again .

I feel so bad for Osaka. She won. she was the best player. IT'S TIME TO GIVE HER THE ATTENTION SHE DESERVES. this has been horrible for her.

No matter how many times you win , accept your loss one day and that others can win too. It's not always your day.

How about an article about Japanese women in tennis ?

Let's talk about the winner instead. Give her some recognition.

How about women, McEnroe pitched temper tantrums at every match. How much was he fined????????????

I am very tired of hearing about Williams (whom I admired and cheered before this) and this. I want to see headlines celebrating NAOMI OSAKA's VICTORY, with OSAKA's NAME AND IMAGE, and only that. So unfair. Enough.

Why call her an angry BLACK woman? BBC She's just angry woman! Color has nothing to do with it. Though why she lost her temper is a wonder when she was just outplayed? by a better player on the day. I guess she is just a poor loser?

Personally I dont care what colour people are. But, I do object to rude, chips on their shoulders people of ANY colour.

Serena Williams and the trope of the 'angry black woman'.JPG

Male tennis players have set this behavior in stone long before Serena came on the court. McEnroe, Conners, Federer and others. McEnroe even kicked a tennis official. When a black woman tells the umpire he's a thief she was right. He stole the match from both women with his calls, forfeiture, and fines. McEnroe was fined, but his fines were slaps on the wrist ($2500) while hers were $14,000. Tennis rules need to be the same for all players. How many tennis rackets have been smashed by men? I've seen coaches of male players give obvious signals while they sit in the stands with no penalties. You can watch it on some of these film clips being posted on the Internet.

It's not the "angry Black woman" trope. It's the "spoiled childish rich professional athlete" trope.

I believe it was nothing but bad sportsmanship, terrible role model for younger generation and players.
Not racist or sexist, just bad behaviour which should be punished accordingly.
Serena completely sabotaged the young winner's moment, people should be angry about that, not keep dissecting this embarrassing moment in sport!

No surprise colour Not the problem she is showing her Real self.

Not a good example to the youngsters watching this. Okay maybe there is sexism in tennis - and men might be treated more leniently - but her behaviour was inexcusable and deserved redress. Two wrongs do not make a right.

The cartoon was levelled as sexist and racist ... I laughed because it has more than a hint of truth to it. Its called satire ... and once you've labelled satire as racist-sexist and blurred those lines, you may as well stop being alive and having any thoughts or jokes at all ... who are the brain police?! What a pathetic, spineless time to be alive ... Sorry to give her more attention, but the wider point needed addressing ...

Boy,I'm so impressed that no one else in the comments sections have EVER lost their cool EVER. Everyone is just so cool, calm and collected and reasonable and rational 100% of the time. Never show any emotion.

She was on the verge of history coming into this match and was clearly frustrated. Not making any excuses but it happens in competitive sports but the cartoons being drawn and comments being made show that the title of BBC's article is more relevant than people think. People have an unconscious bias and in the back of their heads believe this stereotype of the angry Black woman while they shout, scream and throw things themselves yet they NEVER view themselves as angry.