What do Naomi Osaka, Simone Biles and Serena Williams have in common? Besides being cultural icons, they all share that they’re exercising the power of choice. Over the past year, amid pandemic chaos and global unrest, Black women in sports chose to put themselves first and prioritize their mental and physical health.
Recently, Serena Williams announced in the September 2022 Issue of Vogue US that she is taking a step back from tennis to explore other ventures. This announcement comes shortly after the year anniversary of Naomi Osaka’s historic step down from the 2021 French Open for mental health reasons, which was a few months before Simone Biles took a break from the Tokyo Olympics.
Black women stand as the pillars of the Black community, but a pillar can’t stand on its own without being rooted in a firm foundation.
When so much of Black women’s labor has been commodified to the point of expectation, it’s radical to see Black women saying “No.”
For Serena, Naomi, and Simone to reject the mentally and physically ravaging cycle of professional sports to take a step back for themselves, it’s a step forward for the necessary rest, recovery, and self-care that Black women deserve. Read more.