‘They can’t do what you do’: Serena Williams speaks out in support of Caitlin Clark

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Serena Williams has spoken out in support of Caitlin Clark, saying she is glad the Indiana Fever star stays away from social media and applauding the rookie for staying grounded.

Williams was speaking at the Tribeca film festival in New York for the premiere of In the Arena: Serena Williams, a new eight-part documentary series.

“If people are negative, it’s because they can’t do what you do,” Williams said.

Clark was drafted No 1 overall by Indiana after an historic college career with Iowa. She has been on the receiving end of hard fouls and has struggled at times during her rookie season. She was also left off the USA roster for the Olympics.

The decision not to take her to Paris has led to a significant amount of racist, sexist and homophobic comments online from people purporting to defend Clark, who is white, in a league where the majority of players are Black and many are gay.

“People should not be using my name to push those agendas. It’s disappointing. It’s not acceptable,” Clark said last week. “… Treating every single woman in this league with the same amount of respect, I think, it’s just a basic human thing that everybody should do.”

Clark has said publicly that she tries to avoid social media due to the pressure of being in the national spotlight at a young age.

“Honestly, I feel like I talk to the media more than I get to talk to my own family, which is – No, I’m being dead serious – which is really kind of sad in a way,” Clark said in May. “It’s a lot for somebody that’s 22 years old. It can be tough at times. Getting off social media, that’s been the healthiest thing.”

Clark has consistently tried to distance herself from off-the-court controversies, saying her focus is solely on basketball. But she has also been criticized for not using her platform to speak out on issues and for avoiding controversial topics.

Williams said she recognized the pressure on Clark and that she also stays away from her social channels.

“I love that she tries to stay grounded,” Williams said. “She says she doesn’t look at her social [media]. I get it. I don’t either. I think it’s so important to just continue to do what she’s doing. No matter what other people do. Hopefully she’ll continue to do what she’s doing.”

Speaking at ahead of the series that will air on ESPN+ on 10 July, Williams also detailed the treatment she received as a teenager in the tennis world.

“I was bullied. Things that I had to go through, people would be canceled for saying now,” Williams said. “My position in growing up, as a teenager, I kind of had to be guarded to kind of stay sane. Just [getting] so much press and doing everything I was doing and traveling the globe every year. It was every week. It was a grind.”

Source: theguardian.com

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