Many pro athletes are speaking out following Naomi Osaka’s decision to withdraw from the French Open, after they fined her $15,000 for not attending a press conference. Hundreds of people, including famous athletes, have shown their support for Osaka’s choice to prioritize her mental health over the media, but others, like controversial journalist Piers Morgan, have criticized her for it.
Athletes also are finding themselves facing questions about the situation, and legendary tennis player Venus Williams has shared a smashing answer. After losing the first-round match on Tuesday, June 1, against Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova, Williams attended the press conference where she was asked how she copes with the media.
She started, “For me personally, how I cope, how I deal with it, was that I know every single person asking me a question can’t play as well as I can and never will. So no matter what you say, or what you write, you’ll never light a candle to me. So, that’s how I deal with it. But each person deals with it differently.”
Fans celebrated Williams’ confident response on social media. One person said, “She said it with grace and poise that y’all can’t touch this, now STFU and stay in your lane!” Someone else said, “She set the tea table….served the tea….and then dropped the hot kettle in somebody lap 🥺.” Another wrote, “Very much giving no Karen formed against us shall prosper energy🥰🥰🥰.”
As it turns out, the 40-year-old has had this confidence instilled in her from a very young age, and fans pulled up the receipts, again, to prove it. A viral clip of a 14-year-old Williams being asked by a journalist why she feels so confident that she could beat her opponent began to resurface as it’s already done before. Williams’ response at the time was “Because I believe,” but her father Richard Williams soon interrupted the interview to check the journalist for questioning his child’s confidence.
Richard Williams said, “She said it with so much confidence the first time, but you keep going on and on. You’ve got to understand that you’re dealing with an image of a 14-year-old child. And this child is gonna be out there playing when your old ass and me going to be in the grave.”
He continued, “When she say something, we done told you what’s happening. You’re dealing with a little Black kid and let her be a kid. She done answered it with a lot of confidence. Leave that alone.”