By Sharanya Gopinathan
Serena Williams just announced that she’s 20 weeks pregnant. The announcement, made originally in a quickly deleted Snapchat update and later confirmed by a representative, comes 12 weeks after she won her record 23rd Grand Slam at the Australian Open in January this year. Considering how obsessed we are with celebrities, the announcement has of course launched oceans of discussions in traditional news and on social media, with many people taking to Twitter to say that it’s now clear that Serena Williams truly is the greatest, since no one to our knowledge has won a Grand Slam while pregnant.
Serena Williams won the Australian open title pregnant without dropping a set should remove all doubt that she is definitely the GOAT!
— Ransell D’Souza (@rantsell) April 20, 2017
(GOAT is of course Greatest of All Time.)
Anyway. It was brought to our attention by Twitter user @nehaa_sinha that the second line of BBC News’ report on this reads thus: “One of the greatest tennis players of all time, it could mean the 35-year-old’s days of racking up Grand Slam titles are over.”
Literally, that’s the second line of the entire report. Who is the BBC, or anyone really, to speculate so readily and so quickly on Serena Williams’ career? Serena Williams has defied the odds throughout her life, and literally just won a Grand Slam while eight weeks pregnant. She also wouldn’t be the first person to win Grand Slams after having a child: Australia’s Margaret Court won three after having her first child. But none of that is even the point: Serena Williams’ career and career choices are entirely her own. For all we know, Williams’ could choose to retire after having a baby, or she could go on to win five more titles, but that’s up to her. It definitely says something very unpleasant that news houses as respected as the BBC are so quick to link her pregnancy to speculations on the end of her legendary career.
That same report also end with this exasperating line: “So it appears to be good news for Serena, but it’s also good news for the rest of the women’s tour too. Their chances of winning the sport’s biggest titles have just significantly increased.” Um, if you could stop pitting women against other women in this weird way in the news, that’d be greeeaaat.