Williams herself admitted to seeking therapy in 2018, has recently been more candid about the gender- and race-based discrimination she has been subject to her entire life, and has expressed facing similar struggles to Osaka as well: “I’ve been in that position too,” she said in response to Osaka’s decision to refuse press conferences.
“Participating in press conferences and listening to what they were asked and how they responded, I certainly think that the media is too aggressive. Players should have psychologists to help them to deal with the pressure….Going into the press room after losing the match is tough business,” said Radin.
Since her youth, Williams has received racial slurs and booing at tournaments, her outfits have been picked apart and even banned, she has been likened to a monkey and a man, and been the subject of racist cartoons as recently as 2018, among many troubling incidents. Growing up in Compton, California with her sister Venus, both had to fight to be noticed in the tennis world.
Radin adds that “Tennis was and still is mostly a sport for white people and the arrival of two sisters who played really well was a shock I think. I can remember their father sitting just behind my spot at the court and watching his daughters playing and how the media mostly ignored him.”