You’d think being a seven-time Wimbledon champion and one of the best athletes in the world – ever – would be enough to shield you from petty questions about your outfit or on-court grunting. But no, not even the racket god herself Serena Williams is immune to the volley of sexist bullshit female sports players face on a daily basis.
And frankly, she’s had enough.
In a video filmed in conjunction with her Glamour magazine July coverstory, Williams takes aim at the “obnoxious things that men sometimes say” to female tennis players by firing tennis balls at a male heckler.
“I’m doing this for all womankind,” she says to camera. “I’m kind of doing it a little bit for me too, on the low.”
A poor Glamour employee stands in as the scapegoat for the fellas, serving insults and receiving a blistering close-range serve in return. But don’t worry. He’s wearing protection – full-body padding, in fact.
“You’re really good. For a girl,” he yells. Bang. One straight in the stomach.
“You know, you should smile more.” Slam. Square in the chest.
“C’mon Serena, can’t you show some more skin on the court?” Boom. Right. In. The. Groin.
Ouch. via Glamour.
The 34-year-old's pinpoint accuracy in the video (and recent Wimbledon title) lend credibility to the claim she that she's playing better now than ever before.
"Who says that your thirties is when you’re supposed to be done? I would like to know who made that rule!" she said in the Glamour interview.
"I played pretty well in my twenties, don’t get me wrong! But my consistency is better, my momentum is better, my wins are quicker."
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Yet despite that, she's still paid substantially less than her male counterparts: $28.9m in the past year, according to Forbes, while Roger Federer raked in $68m.
"These sports have a lot of work to do," she told Glamour. "And I really hope that I can be helpful in that journey because I do believe that women deserve the same pay. We work just as hard as men do. I’ve been working, playing tennis, since I was three years old. And to be paid less just because of my sex — it doesn’t seem fair."