Venus Williams sent shockwaves through the internet when she proclaimed “all lives matter.” The statement came after her sister Serena shared a moving Facebook message on police brutality against African-Americans.
The 22-time Grand Slam champion wrote about her fear that her nephew could face a deadly interaction with a cop.
“I would never forgive myself if something happened to my nephew. He’s so innocent. So were all ‘the others,’ ” Serena wrote in part.
“I won’t be silent,” she concluded.
After Venus completed her matches in the Wuhan Open, reporters asked the defending champion about her sister Serena’s comments.
“How important do you think it is for you and your sister and other Black athletes to speak out on those issues?” a journalist asked during the press conference.
“I haven’t seen the post,” Venus replied in transcripts captured by ASAP Sports. “I think all lives matter, so … I can’t really comment.”
Once the response gained traction, many users ripped into Venus on Twitter.
King expressed gratitude for Serena not being “as naive or stupid” as her sister. Then he told Venus to “wake up” before hitting the unfollow button.
— King (@A_KingsVision72) September 29, 2016
Mentioning Venus’ support of equal play, user Cute In Motion said the tennis pro “didn’t mind” making headlines for that. But he seemed to feel baffled over her “all lives matter” response.
Venus had think pieces about equal pay, interviews, made headlines, etc. She didn’t mind. Yet, she goes with “I believe all lives matter”
— Cute In Motion (@SUN_Of_Uhhh) September 28, 2016
OG Cinnamon Apple washed her hands of Venus and backed “chosen one” Serena.
Venus Williams can get the hell on with her losing ass. This is why we always loved Serena. She’s the chosen one anyway
— OG Cinnamon Apple (@drichfresh2def) September 29, 2016
Similarly, kchanise dismissed Venus’ colorblind response as the reason why she’s “not in the limelight” like Serena.
— kchansie (@KchanSIE) September 29, 2016
Meanwhile, Horned Serpent Heir tagged Venus and told her, “you’re better than this.” He added she was “too educated to use a phrase created by racist white people.”
@Venuseswilliams you’re better than this. You’re too educated to use a phrase created by racist white people to negate black pain and lives.
— Horned Serpent Heir (@Joracle_) September 28, 2016
But Obe1 was unsupportive of “the lame excuses.”
I knew y’all was gonna have the lame excuses ready. Venus don’t be online but she knew to say “All lives matter” outta nowhere. Hmmm…
— Obe1 (@obe1obryant) September 28, 2016