No one understands the gender bias in professional athletics better than Grand Slam queen Serena Williams. In a recent interview with Common for ESPN's The Undefeated, she opened up about her immaculate career and why she believes she still isn't considered the greatest athlete of all time.
"I think if I were a man, I would have been in that conversation a long time ago," the four-time Olympic gold medalist confessed. "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."
As she winds down her career at 35-years-old, Serena has been ranked No. 1 in the world for singles six times, holds 22 Grand Slam titles, and was recently crowned Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year. "I've been able to speak up for women's rights because I think that gets lost in color, or gets lost in cultures," she continued in the interview. "Women make up so much of this world, and, yeah, if I were a man, I would have 100 percent been considered the greatest ever a long time ago."
Unfortunately, there is a lot of truth behind her heartbreaking words. Despite her impressive resume, Serena's accomplishments have been constantly overshadowed by criticism about something that has nothing to do with her performance: her appearance.
Like Serena, women in sports are still being valued more so for the way they look as opposed to by their skills as athletes. And while turning this wrong into a right is no easy feat, props to Serena for always making the effort.
Watch her entire, gripping interview below.