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Serena Williams: I’ve Had People Put Me Down Because I Look Stronger

Serena Williams is the definition of perfection, not because she’s flawless but because she is always real. The legendary tennis pro is her real self and that’s one of the most beautiful things she’s given us and her recent acceptance speech Tuesday night for Sports Illustrated ‘Sportsperson of the Year’  was no exception!

Despite the high honor, Serena winning is a historic event. She’s the first woman in 32 years to received the honor and the first African American woman to win the award outright.

READ: Serena Williams is Peak Fabulous on the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Cover!

William’s acceptance speechwas full of gems to live by that were absolutely worthy of her historic win.

She took the time to recognize what her win means for all women, taking the focus away from her and bringing attention to the strength of women.

“For all the ladies out there, yes we can do it. My hope by winning this award [is that I] can inspire many, many, many more women … to stand right here on this podium and accept another ‘Sportsperson of the Year,’ so yes ladies it can be done.”

She highlighted the fact no one wakes up successful, and noted all of the work and struggles she’s overcome to get to where she is; even managing to crack a joke at her expense.

“I’m not standing here because I’ve just kind of cruised on. I’ve had my share of ups and downs. I’ve had many struggles. I’ve had blood clots in both my lungs at the same time. I’ve lived through tragedies and controversies — and horses.” 

The horse is a reference to the LA Times’ highly racist story comparing Williams to a high-performing horse who the publication suggested should have won ‘Sportsperson of the Year’.

READ: 4 Times Mainstream Media Hated on Serena Williams

Most of all though, Serena highlights the importance of pushing on no matter what you face, who you face, or what anyone tells you.

“I’ve had people look down on me, put me down because I didn’t look like them — I look stronger,” she said. “I’ve had people look past me because [of] the color of my skin, I’ve had people overlook me because I was a woman, I’ve had critics say I [would] never win another Grand Slam when I was only at number seven — and here I stand today with 21 Grand Slam titles, and I’m still going.”

Serena’s speech is proof of the power of Black women everywhere, and everyone can take something meaningful from it.

Watch her entire acceptance speech and get your life lesson for the week!

Photo: Jewel Samad/Getty

Ariel Leconte

Ariel Leconte

Ariel is the Associate Editor of Jawbreaker and creator of Revolutionary In Pink Pumps blog. She is equally obsessed with social justice, lipstick, culture, and red wine.