Serena Williams took a powerful shot on Tuesday afternoon, but it wasn't landed on a U.S. Open court. Instead, the superstar athlete took to social media and posted a highly evocative piece on racial profiling and police brutality that's garnered quite a bit of attention for its powerful message. In the Facebook post, Williams addressed police violence and racial profiling in America, making an incredibly powerful pledge to never remain silent on the issue.
In the social media post, Williams described a recent event and the subsequent fears she had when her 18-year-old nephew drove her to some of the meetings she had to attend during the day. When she saw a police car on the side of a road, Williams says that images ran through her mind from the video of Philando Castile, the 32-year-old Minnesota man who was shot and killed by police after being pulled over for a broken taillight. Recalling the incident, she glanced over to check her nephew's speed limit.
"I quickly checked to see if he was obliging by the speed limit. Than I remembered that horrible video of the woman in the car when a cop shot her boyfriend. All of this went through my mind in a matter of seconds. I even regretted not driving myself. I would never forgive myself if something happened to my nephew. He's so innocent. So were all 'the others,'" the post read.
In her post, which was liked by at least 67,000 Facebook users at time of writing, she went on to say that she is a "total believer that not 'everyone' is bad. It is just the ones that are ignorant, afraid, uneducated, and insensitive that is affecting millions and millions of lives."
Perhaps it's the balanced attention Williams draws to both sides of this national conversation on the extent to which racial profiling is present in law enforcement that made this post resonate so strongly on social media. And one thing, as Williams implied with her own personal account of being frightened for her innocent nephew's life, is certain: racial profiling is very real and it cannot go unnoticed. And in the wake of the most recent police shootings in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Charlotte, North Carolina, this is especially a concern.
Williams continued in her post by urging others to keep taking action on the issue of police violence. "But I realized we must stride on- for it's not how far we have come but how much further still we have to go."
In other words, she is hopeful, but also realizes that those who can speak out must speak out in order in order to achieve the goal of bringing an end to racial profiling. As she so strongly stated, she's no exception to that rule. Quoting Martin Luther King Jr., the pro-tennis player vowed not to be silent. And no doubt, her incredible strength and eloquence will inspire others to do the same.