Serena Williams is sparking a sports-wide debate over her place in history. Is she the greatest female athlete of all time and if she isn’t what factors are working against her, real or imaginary? Being a female, black and with an attitude? Sports Illustrated writer Jon Wertheim said this,
“I consider her achievements, her mental strength, her power, her (terminally underrated) court smarts, her longevity and the overall arc of her career and I reach the conclusion that she is the greatest of all time — a claim I made in 2010 and have gotten grief for ever since. No question in my mind: she is the greatest living female athlete. That she has played (check that: lived) independent of the establishment and conventional thinking makes her all the more admirable. I have no doubt that I will be telling my grandchildren about her.”
Jon added, “I’ve long said that one of the real challenges of covering this sport is covering the Williams sisters, Serena in particular. There is so much complexity and contradiction. And, of course, there is the ever-present patina/prism of race. And let’s be clear: anyone who denies the element of race lives in a land of dragons and unicorns and stable ozone layers.”
ESPN also took a stab at the debate. Watch the video clip below:
We ask again, is Serena Williams the best female athlete of all time?