It takes a big person to apologize…it takes an even bigger person to apologize in a very public way. Following her highly-publicized outburst at the U.S. Open back in September 2018 when she was defeated by young opponent Naomi Osaka, tennis legend Serena Williams faced a whirlwind of criticism. Now, not only is she apologizing for her unsportsmanlike behavior—she also reveals that she sought out therapy to help with the aftermath.
Widely-regarded as one of the greatest athletes of all-time, Serena Williams has always remained consistent in calling out injustices in the game of tennis. However, many felt (including herself) that at last year’s U.S. Open she took things too far.
In the August issue of @HarpersBazaarUS, Serena covers the magazine and gets candid about that day—including the regrets she faced that actually led her to therapy.
In a penned essay inside the magazine, Serena owns up to her behavior and acknowledges the hurt it caused Osaka:
“This debacle ruined something that should have been amazing and historic. Not only was a game taken from me but a defining, triumphant moment was taken from another player.”
She continued, adding that even after the U.S Open passed, she still couldn’t find inner peace with what happened, which resulted in her seeking out professional help:
“I couldn’t find peace. I started seeing a therapist. I was searching for answers, and although I felt like I was making progress, I still wasn’t ready to pick up a racket.”
The truly touching part of Serena’s essay is her heartfelt apology to Osaka, while admitting that in the moment she felt she “was doing the right thing in sticking up for myself.”
To Osaka, Serena wrote:
“I had no idea the media would pit us against each other. I would love the chance to live that moment over again. I am, was, and will always be happy for you and supportive of you. I would never, ever want the light to shine away.”
In a show of true #BlackGirlMagic, Serena also shared Osaka’s response that left her emotional:
“People can misunderstand anger for strength because they can’t differentiate between the two. No one has stood up for themselves the way you have and you need to continue trailblazing.”
You can check out Serena Williams’ full essay in the August issue of Harper’s Bazaar on newsstands July 23rd.
Roommates, what do you think about Serena going to therapy?