By Rickey Hampton, Editor and Founder of The African-American Athlete
Let me be clear, Venus Williams doesn’t have to win the 2017 Wimbledon championship to prove anything to anybody.
At 37, her legacy is secure as one of the sports greatest players. She has won 73 championships, including seven Grand Slam titles, and teamed with sister Serena to win 14 more Grand Slams in doubles. She has earned more than $36 million in career earnings, not to mention her lucrative business interests.
However, I will be cheering for her in Saturday’s championship match, after watching her defeat Johanna Konta in the semifinals on Thursday.
Of course, I always cheer for Venus, and Serena. The primary reason I do it is because they are black. Call me racist if you want, I could give a good damn. But the more appropriate term would be to call me racially prideful.
Venus has gone through a lot in recent years. She is fighting an autoimmune disease called Sjogren’s, and most recently, she was incorrectly cited for being the cause of a traffic accident, which cost the life of 78-year-old man in Florida.
As it turns out, police traffic investigators determined that Venus was not at fault.
Now, how the police could initially make the determination that she was at fault seems careless. I will always wonder if there would have been such a rush to judgement if the person involved in this tragedy wasn’t named Venus Williams.
Nonetheless, Venus remains resilient, and playing remarkably well, at what is considered an ancient age in the world of tennis. If she is able to win her next two matches, it will be her fifth Wimbledon title, and arguably the greatest win of her career.