“I recollect the entire arena was 99 percent white individuals and they were all booing. Racial slurs utilized, it was noisy, it resembled a reverberation, it was so uproarious I could feel it in my chest,” said Serena Williams in a meeting remembering perhaps the ugliest occurrence of racial sneering in tennis history.
It was 2001, during the last of Indian Wells competition in California.
Serena was only 19.
She was getting down to business with Kim Clijsters for the title when the group broke in long uproarious boos coordinated at her dad Richard Williams and her senior sister Venus Williams. The harassing was a response to Venus’ choice to pull back from the elimination rounds against Serena minutes before the match, inferable from a physical issue.
The ‘N word’ was utilized, claims of ‘coordinate fixing’ flew thick and quick, reverberated even by her friends. Irritated and shaken, the two sisters chose to never return to Indian Wells until kingdom come.
Tragically, that wasn’t to be the keep going racially propelled assault on Serena.