There is no argument that Venus Williams is one of the greatest female athletes to ever enter the sport of tennis. What she had to endure to achieve that status and the fight she tackles on behalf of other female tennis players is absolutely fascinating..
Apparently, the fight for equality is an ongoing struggle for women in all walks of life, particularly the sports world.
From the first moment Venus and her sister Serena picked up tennis rackets as young aspiring Compton, California athletes, Venus has slayed the competition picking up 7 Grand Slam titles…22 overall.
Already dealing with the challenge of being an African-American female in a male dominated sport, Venus called out the tennis world for paying men higher prize money. Just like being a girl from the hood didn’t stop her from becoming a champion, Venus would not give up until the pay scale was balanced for both genders.
Director Ava DuVernay knows a little something about women, adversity and firsts. She became the first African-American woman to win Best Director at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival. So, it would only be fitting that Venus’ rise to tennis superstar, her obstacles within the tennis world, relationships with her sister Serena, her Dad, her coaches and mentors are all documented with love and sensitivity by Miss DuVernay.
According to DuVernay, “Women are historically and currently paid substantially lower across the board worldwide than their male counterparts. But I think it is a little shocking to think that a sport that is on such a world stage, that has huge sponsors and huge superstars, since 1968 to 2007, that the women accepted being paid less. We trace the history of it in the film. Billie Jean King stood up and said no, we want more, and she was able to incrementally get it up little by little, but it was never equal”.
Venus Vs. is an awe-inspiring story of a woman he refused to give up and compromise. To catch more of this fascinating doc, Tune into ESPN on July 2nd.