When I saw headlines about Serena Williams doing an “offensive” dance after winning the Olympic gold medal in tennis, I really couldn’t imagine what dance this could be. When I saw, a clip of the said “offensive” dance, I was still confused.
It wasn’t until the reporter identified it as the “crip walk” that I thought, “Oh yeah, that is the crip walk she’s doing.” But, if it wasn’t pointed out, I really wouldn’t have thought much about it because I’m neither a Crip or “wanna be thug.” And better yet, neither is Serena Williams (who is a Jehovah’s Witness)!
So when I read Jason Whitlock’s article “Serena Deserves the Criticism” for Fox Sports, I understood the points he was making, but I just didn’t see why the issue mattered to the larger public as much as Whitlock seems to think it does. If Serena extended her middle finger to the crowd, all Americans over six years old would have understood the gesture as well as most of the rest of the world. On the other hand, most people in the United States and the rest of the world don’t know what a “crip walk” is! And from the teenagers I know, this dance has lost it’s association with with the gang and they only view it as a dance.
To be outraged and insulted, wouldn’t people need to know why it’s insulting. For instance, my grandmother is around 80 years old and my dad is almost 60, but I bet neither one of them knows what the “crip walk” is. My grandmother might think a crip is some new virus like the West Nile virus or swine flu. And my father knows what a crip is, but he’d never probably think they’d come up with their own dance, so when she did this I’m sure he thought she was just doing a celebratory dance just like my teen sisters. And like most of the viewing public, that’s all they saw!
Later in the article, Whitlock goes into the type of supposition that boggles my mind because unless he personally knows Serena Williams, he must be projecting his own feelings. How in the world would he be able to conclude that she conspired to do that dance to thumb her nose at Wimbledon? He states:
Obviously, I can’t read Serena’s mind. But my hunch is Serena got really fired up for her gold-medal showdown with Maria Sharapova, the thin white super model who just happens to be a terrific tennis player.
I bet in a private moment Friday night or Saturday morning, Serena told her sister Venus, “I’m going to kick this $*%& ass and Crip Walk all over this crusty-ass place.”
What is he talking about? Did he see her after she won Wimbledon last month? I didn’t get that impression that she held such a grudge that she needed to seek revenge. I think the word that comes to mind for me is “jubilant.” I even thought she sounded like a kid on Christmas she was so happy. If there was a grudge, it was pushed to the back of her mind.
Finally, his comment that Maria Sharapova is “the thin white super model” is unnecessary. As a woman, I find it offensive that Whitlock would attempt minimize the athleticism of either Maria or Serena. Does she get more endorsements because she looks like the majority of people in America or Europe? Duh, but does that make Serena Williams, one of the greatest female (or male) tennis players ever who’s been winning Grand Slams since 1999, do a “crip walk” in anger (and conjectured jealousy)?
Not no, but hell no. That is not only ridiculous, but so illogical I can’t believe such a leap was published anywhere (even Fox)!
Anyways, congrats to both Serena and Maria who are wonderful to watch because you both play with heart and athleticism that is inspirational! Can’t wait to see you at Rio and maybe you’ll samba after each win unless that is offensive, too!