The Differences Pt 2 …. Serena Williams & Ronda Rousey

Something has been bothering me for the past couple of months! How can the public view of these 2 similar, but different, female athletes be so skewed? These two legends are both great at what they do and will most likely be the bar that future female athletes measure themselves to when they are competing. Both athletes are also very bold, confident, and aggressive when it comes to competition, but there is a huge discrepancy with how the “public” perceives them. If you haven’t already guessed it, I’m talking about Serena Williams and Ronda Rousey! Serena is often looked at as the arrogant female athlete by many tennis fans across the world, but that’s because she doesn’t take shit from anybody; no matter if it’s an opponent, line judge, fan, or a reporter, but Ronda Rousey on the other hand, it seems is viewed as the “Great White Hope”, which I get because we dominate damn near every single sport in the world, let alone the country. This great white hope narrative has been going on for years all the way back to Rocky being made out to be the whites' Ali because there would never be another Ali in real life, and there definitely isn’t going to be a white one in real life. So, when a white athlete dominates a sport they are praised way more and boosted more than their black counterparts simply because they aren’t used to seeing whites dominate a sport.
I know Tennis is a very different sport than Mixed Martial Arts, MMA, so that might have some type of influence on the fans' perception of these two women, but when you win, that normally rids away all of the crap that doesn’t matter, because you’re winning. Winning is supposed to bring high praise and greatness in the eyes of the masses. In Ronda’s case this is true; it’s so true that many people believe she can beat up Floyd Mayweather, who is 48-0 in the ring. Now, the ring and octagon are two different things, but fighting is fighting. She’s not going to beat up a grown ass man who is one of the greatest boxers of all-time. It’s gotten to the point that even she is saying she would beat him in a ruthless fight. I’m all up for confidence, but sometimes people need to be logical, but that’s another topic for another day. The point I’m trying to make here is why doesn’t Serena get the same type of praise?
I’ve never heard someone say Serena could beat Andy Roddick or Novak Djokovic in a tennis match. There was a female tennis player, who years ago stuffed her bra and skirt with towels to mock Serena in an exhibition match; she wasn’t booed by the crowd; they all thought it was funny and loved it. When the masses look at Serena, they don’t see a beautiful black woman with an amazing body that most women would die for these days, they see a woman who is built like a “man” to them. I've even witnessed a person on Twitter say Caitlyn Jenner was built more like a woman than Serena. So, a man turned woman is built more like a woman, compared to an actual woman with natural hips and curves? The logic in that type of thinking is mind-blowing, but that’s just another reminder to me that we are in the year 2015, and that type of thinking is STILL normal in this day of age. Ronda Rousey is more “manly” built than Serena, but nobody says she wins fights because of her physical appearance. They say she wins because she’s just that much better than her opponents, but Serena can’t just be that “good”; it has to be something genetic like what sports doctor Peter Larkin said a few years ago about how she’s only this good because of “The African American Race, they just have this huge gluteal strength”. The President of the Russian Tennis Federation even called the Williams sisters “brothers” on live television. Reporters speak on Serena’s breast and butt like she chose the body she was given. Why as a sport commentator are you speaking on Serena’s butt, saying it’s bigger than you would prefer when you should be focused on her winning these tennis matches? See, but Rousey has never been slandered like that by the media; she’s repeatedly praised for her physique, skill, and success.
Rousey is so good that she can probably beat most men in her weight class in MMA, let alone any guy her size; they don’t stand a chance, even if they are a 48-0 pro boxer. That’s the public's narrative after every Rousey victory, which is extremely silly. For Serena, it’s a different story. She’s constantly viewed as a disgrace to tennis or even arrogant after wins. I know I’m not the smartest guy in the world, but this is a clear case of double standards. One athlete gets praised for being aggressive and confident in her skills and body; meanwhile, another athlete is viewed as a disgrace and arrogant competitor. I’m not pointing fingers at Serena or Ronda either because I’m a fan of both; I love how they carry themselves.
This is nothing new in sports though, especially in today’s time; we see it more often and blatant than ever. I could go deeper into this as to why blacks in sports are judged differently. You look at a guy like Michael Vick who was in trouble years ago for dog fighting where he admitted to fighting dogs and killing dogs. He went to prison, served his time, and made his return back to the National Football League, NFL, to play for the Eagles, Jets, and most recently this season the Pittsburgh Steelers. When I tell you the fans were upset at the Steelers signing him, it was ridiculous. All over social media you saw people saying how could the Steelers sign such a “monster” and that they would no longer be a fan of the Steelers' organization anymore but yet years ago when their star Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who was accused of rape not once but TWICE over a several year span, had all the support in the world from Pittsburgh fans, even though he agreed to settle with one of the alleged victims in 2012, and several of those fans I saw jumping ship were women; now, maybe that support is fueled by the two Super Bowl rings he was responsible for, but that doesn’t make it fair. My bone isn’t with the athletes though, it’s with the fans spectators, reporters, analyst, or whatever you are; if you’re going to be critical of one, be critical of all who act in the same way; whether it’s right or wrong in your eyes, just be fair. But back to the main point of this piece, I just want to know what the difference is between these two great female athletes, besides their ethnic backgrounds.
What’s REALLY the difference? –Lamondre Deshawn, Courtesy of Nerd At The Cool Table (September 2, 2015)

(This piece was posted here.)


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