Serena Williams sat down with husband Alexis Ohanian for a frank and honest conversation about the current climate of race relations in the United States on Saturday, speaking openly in an interview session on Instagram Live.
With an eye towards the current climate surrounding race relations in the United States, the 23-time Grand Slam champion highlighted the importance of using their platform to elevate the issues and use their voices to bring about change.
"I felt like this couldn't wait. We come together every Saturday to talk about fashion, to talk about life, to talk about so many different things that are happening personally and professionally, and obviously, there has been so much lately that's been happening around the world that has really, truly, affected so many people in so many different ways," Williams said.
"There's been so many major headlines and so many people who have been really stepping up and saying, 'I don't like this. I'm not going to stand for this. I don't feel good about what's been happening.'"
The two discussed Ohanian's recent decision to resign from the board of Reddit, the social networking website he co-founded, which he announced on Friday via a video on Instagram.
"It is long overdue to do the right thing. I’m doing this for me, for my family, and for my country," he wrote in the post. "I’m saying this as a father who needs to be able to answer his black daughter when she asks: What did you do?"
The 37-year-old said he's encouraging Reddit to fill the seat with a black candidate to increase diversity in the tech company's leadership positions and inform its future decisions, and reflected on how the announcement was received around the world in Saturday's session.
"It puts in perspective the work that I do, which I take great pride in, but that I know still doesn't reach or affect as many people and you have and what you continue to do," he said.
"Part of that is all the things that you represent, have done and have overcome, and it makes me very proud and also humble. It was the first time in my life that I and Reddit have ever been trending on Twitter. I've seen Serena Williams trend a few times."
The pair also discussed how they plan to impart their wisdom and teach their two-and-a-half year old daughter Olympia about this current time in history, while Williams discussed the adversity she's faced over the course of her own life, despite her standing as an elite international athlete.
"[Olympia] is a pure, blank canvas. She only knows love. There is not an ounce of hate in her body. She can't even hate the bad guy in Paw Patrol when he's clearly a terrible mayor," Ohanian said.
"That's the crushing thing. Every child is that same blank canvas of pure love... you hear all your life about how hate is taught, and it really is.
"At some point, Olympia is going to have to have a talk with you about how she's going to have to work that much harder, how she's going to have to work that much more... that's where the perspective comes in."
"It's hard. It's something that, unfortunately, has become normal for us. It's normal to go to different places and feel unaccepted. I entered a sport that was all white, and it definitely wasn't easy, looking back," Williams added.
"I was also very young and I just adapted. I wasn't there to be besties with anybody, I was just there to play tennis... and it all really boiled down to my faith, and that all of this is temporary. I don't think I would be in this position, I think I would be very angry, very spiteful, very jealous, if I didn't have that spiritual background.
"Because of all the things I've been through, all of the things that I go through, all of the things that I see, it would be very hard.
"A lot of people don't know that in my whole life, I've had to deal with so many different challenges. I've had to deal with a lot of inequality, I've had to deal with racism and sadly, it's become, unfortunately, somewhat of a norm for people who have my skin color. It is really unfortunate, but it's something I think that, systematically, we just have to ultimately deal with, and I shouldn't have let it become a norm.
"I, personally, am very God-fearing and I believe in the Bible, and the one way that we can have peace and security is through God, so I've taken solace in that, but it's sad that someone on my level has had to accept... so many different things because of the color of my skin."
Williams also took the time to note how the married couple's relationship has helped them have frank conversations with each other about race, as the tech entrepreneur highlighted the privilege he's experienced in his career by saying, "At no point in my career, did I feel like I was ever in the wrong room, or that I was ever being judged."
"I'm always letting you know what I see. I see things different. My whole life, I've been taught to see things different because who I am and because of the color of my skin," she said.
"You see things different because of the color of your skin. I'm just telling you my view, and when you get to see it from my point of view, it's just totally different. There have been so many situations I've been in where I've just had to take the high road, even to this day.
"I'm proud, I've always been proud to be who I am, to be black, and I just feel like I wouldn't be who I am, I wouldn't be as strong as I am, I wouldn't have been able to be as amazing I have been so far in my career, I wouldn't be me if I wasn't black. I've always leaned into that... I get that from my parents.
"They taught me the power of loving myself and it is, now more than ever, a great time to love yourself."