"Serena Williams calling out the whole WNBA league" - Fans delighted as American great jumps to Caitlin Clark's defense over negative scrutiny

Serena Williams (L) and Caitlin Clark (R)
Serena Williams (L) and Caitlin Clark (R)

Serena Williams jumping to the defense of WNBA and Indiana Fever star Caitlin Clark has delighted fans, with many appreciating the American for coming to the aid of a fellow female athlete. Williams empathized with Clark over the way she has been the target of negative scrutiny in recent times, to the point that she no longer looks at social media to avoid seeing such criticism.

Williams was recently at the Tribeca film festival, where an upcoming documentary about her career was being premiered. Titled 'In the Arena: Serena Williams,' the eight-part series will document the 23-time Grand Slam champion's journey from a little Black girl in Compton to one of the greatest tennis players of all time. The docuseries is coming out on ESPN+ on July 10.

Speaking to reporters at the event, the American offered advise to her compatriot, urging her to keep doing what she was doing and not take her detractors' comments to heart.

"I just love that she tries to stay grounded. She said she doesn't look at her social [media], I get it, I don't either. I think it's so important to just continue doing what she's doing, no matter what other people do," Williams said.
"If people are negative, it's because they can't do what you do, basically. And hopefully she'll continue to do what she's doing," she added.

For those unaware, Clark is considered one of the most successful collegiate basketball players of all time and is the NCAA Division-I leading scorer in history. In the 2024 WNBA draft, she was the No. 1 pick and is currently the Point Guard for Indiana. In May, she was awarded the WNBA Rookie of the Month honor for her prolific scoring record in the league.

Despite all that, her she has come under scrutiny from many in and outside the world of basketball journalism. Most recently, Clark being left out of the US women's team for the 2024 Paris Olympics also started a debate, with former WTA World No. 1 Chris Evert left stumped by the decision as well.

Under these circumstances, Serena Williams openly standing by Caitlin Clark has left fans of both stars on social media delighted, with many calling for similar support from other female stars in the sporting world.

"Serena Williams calling out the whole [WNBA] league," one fan wrote.
"Greatness respecting greatness," another fan said.
"That’s a woman supporting a woman, athlete to athlete. Needs to be more of this," one user tweeted.

Many users on Twitter also pointed out how Williams would have experienced the same level of scrutiny when she was on the up, making her defense of Clark all the more relevant and relatable.

"Caitlin’s haters are gonna start coming after Serena now and claim she ain’t one of them," one fan wrote.
"Exactly right, and Serena has been through this and is a great role model and support for CC," another said.
"Let’s see if they get mad at Serena for this lol," one user tweeted.

"I don't let anything break me" - Serena Williams on dealing with criticism

Serena Williams is no stranger to dealing with criticism herself, having spent most of her adult life under the media spotlight. Speaking in an interview with TIME magazine in 2017, the former World No. 1 shed light on how she manages it, stating that she tried to not let anything break her.

At the same time, Williams admitted that it was not easy to deal with stinging comments about her physique at times, something all women athletes faced in her opinion.

The American maintained that it was important to quell the double standard in sports, wherein women are held to a different standard than men, especially when financial matters are considered.

“I think any experience can make you stronger. I don’t let anything break me. It isn’t always easy to be on the stage playing a tournament and have someone making a comment about your body, that it’s too strong," Williams said.
“I think the biggest criticism that, not only me, but my peers go through is there will be something saying we don’t deserve as much prize money as our male counterparts. When you work so hard, you dedicate yourself. It shouldn’t be a double standard," she added.

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Edited by Shyam Kamal
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