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Following the airing of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, tennis superstar Serena Williams spoke out in support of her close friends.
She says she knows firsthand what it’s like to be vilified by the media as a Black woman.
“Meghan Markle, my selfless friend, lives her life — and leads by example — with empathy and compassion. She teaches me everyday what it means to be truly noble. Her words illustrate the pain and cruelty she’s experienced,” Williams wrote. “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. We must recognize our obligation to decry malicious, unfounded gossip and tabloid journalism. the mental health and consequences of systemic oppression and victimization are devastating, isolating and all too often lethal.”
The media began tearing shreds into Markle before the interview premiered. The Duchess of Sussex revealed that the royal family failed to protect her and her son, Archie — and some members were even concerned about the color of her son’s skin ahead of his birth.
“In the months when I was pregnant… we have in tandem the conversation of he won’t be given security, he’s not going to be given a title, and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born,” she said.
Several of Markle’s close friends spoke out in defense of her once the interview aired — but Williams, who has always defended the backlash against Markle, says this struggle is about all of our daughters.
“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.”