Tennis Superstar Serena Williams and Reddit Co-founder Alexis Ohanian are Having a Baby, So Why All the Fuss?

Serena Williams at the U.S. Open in 2013.

Serena Williams at the U.S. Open in 2013.

Serena Williams has won 23 Grand Slams (mull that over a minute), been ranked number one by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) in singles on seven occasions between 2002 and 2017, and is arguably the best female tennis player and quite possibly the best female athlete in the world. Her face, smile—and that body—are more recognizable than almost any person—tennis player or not. Women and little girls look up to her and know that one day—regardless where they come from and what their race or ethnicity is—they too can achieve greatness.

Serena Williams is not only a well-known tennis player but has had some rather public relationships—a problem that plagues all celebrities. Among them, Phoenix Suns’ Basketball player Amar’e Stoudemire, actor Jackie Long, rapper/actor/producer/poet Common and one of my celebrity crushes, Biracial rapper Drake.


Alexis Chanian of Reddit and fiancé of Serena Williams.

Alexis Ohanian of Reddit and fiancé of Serena Williams.

As fans of hers, we should all be happy she’s found love and happiness. And she certainly seems smitten with her guy, fiancé Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit. They both have smiles that go on for days. They’re clearly in love and happy, so what’s the fuss?

Alexis Ohanian and Serena Williams

Oh, she’s Black and he’s White? She was pregnant before she got married? For reals? Are you serious? Like this is the first interracial couple?

The Pregnancy Selfie Serena Williams Took That Had the Tongues-a-Waggin’

Serena Williams announced her pregnancy by posting a selfie on Snapchat in a bathing suit with the caption, “20 Weeks.” Amazing how one photo can draw such opposing reactions.

Serena Williams' baby announcement at 20 weeks.

Serena Williams’ baby announcement at 20 weeks.

Most fans of Serena Williams remain in awe of the tennis great:

Serena Williams is a superwoman

Serena Williams is a superwoman.

Serena Williams pregnant at Australian Open

Serena Williams pregnant at Australian Open

Serena Williams' baby

Serena Williams’ baby

And then there are the haters…

Why is Serena Williams now being vilified? Why are folks from  The Urban Twist regular blogger Melony Hill to two-time majors [tennis] champion Ilie Nastase of Romania tripping over her wonderful news?

Melony Hill writes, “…I could be totally wrong but I can’t help but feel that way when I see dark skin, successful women marry into other cultures. I ask myself, how can they want to raise children who don’t look like them? How can they raise kids who look at them and don’t see their own reflection?

When you wheeling around a kid and people have to ask who kid it is, where’s the joy in that?  Our women have went from being raped by these men, having our bodies taken and abused, babies implanted into our wombs, neglected or sold off to welcoming them into our bodies, womb and lives.”

Hill goes on to say, “I’m not a fan of the royal family but I tell you what, the way they keep their bloodline pure, is impressive.”

With the exception of William, Kate and Harry, who helped raise millions of British Pounds and raise awareness for mental health awareness and the late Princess Diana who raised incredible awareness about HIV and AIDS, bulimia and landmines in Eastern Africa, I am pretty anti-royal family.  How the “Royal Family,” a.k.a. a bunch of welfare recipients who serve no practical purpose whatsoever, keep their “bloodlines pure” is by marrying their first and second cousins. However, 

As a “mixed race thing,” (a term Hill used in her blog she later removed) I see both my parents reflected in my looks, my personality, my likes and dislikes and so on. Perhaps Hill has never met other multiracial people but all the Biracial / Multiracial / Mixed Race people I know feel the same way.

I’d also like to point out that it was a very cheap and ugly shot to compare the White slaver owners’ treatment of their female slaves to two adults having a consensual relationship.

We don’t choose who we fall in love with … we just fall in love. Keep in mind Serena Williams dated a few brothers before she met Alexis, but even if she hadn’t, who gives a rat’s ass? Are you really saying she should marry and have a baby with a brother so she can “keep her bloodline pure?” And are we back at the point of thinking that marrying for the sake of keeping the blood line pure is a good reason to get married? So much for so-called progression.

Hill’s blog makes her sound like a Black hillbilly, not unlike a White racist who tells his / her kids, “don’t be bringing home no niggers. We ain’t raisin’ no nigger babies.”

Hate Isn’t Unique to Americans…

Romania’s former number one tennis player Ilie Nastase, whose antics on the court (he was the Romanian equivalent of John McEnroe) led Arthur Ashe to abandon a game against him before it even got going (in 1975), and off (he’s a sexist who acts as though he can have any woman) said of Serena Williams’ pregnancy, “Let’s see what color it has. Chocolate with milk?” at a press conference. But get this, he wasn’t even the player who was asked his opinion about Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian’s engagement and pregnancy. The International Tennis Federation has launched an investigation and Serena Williams offered to cooperate in any way she could.

I think her response to Nastase (whose name my autocorrect wants to spell Nasty) was classy and above-board, but I wouldn’t expect anything less of her. “It disappoints me to know we live in a society in which people like Ilie Nastase can make such racist comments towards myself and unborn child, and sexist comments against my peers.

“I have said it once and I’ll say it again, this world has come so far but yet we have so much further to go. Yes, we have broken down so many barriers – however there are a plethora more to go.

“This or anything else will not stop me from pouring love, light and positivity into everything that I do. I will continue to take a lead and stand up for what’s right.”

By the way, I can’t help but notice the hostility seems to be directed solely at Serena Williams. It reminds me of when a husband cheats with another woman and everyone is ready to let the man off the hook and crucify the woman. The double standard is incredibly annoying.

Whether It’s Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian, Other Celebrities or Regular Folk, Interracial Relationships are Here to Stay and Folks Best Get Used to It

On June 12, 2017 the Multiracial Community in the United States will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision to legalize interracial marriage nationwide. However, it’s not as though interracial relationships are only 50 years old.

Both in the United States and worldwide, the Multiracial Community is growing. Multiracial people are the second fastest growing racial group in the U.S. so much so that in next week’s Sarah’s World Beat I am going to look at the changing demographics around the world

All I can to say Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian is this: Mazel tov! Try and ignore the haters—jealousy makes people tear their asses and many have to do it publicly. Just shows how empty their lives are.

Photo credits

Edwin Martinez (Serena Williams)

Ketchum PR (Alexis Ohanian)

YouTube (Alexis Ohanian holding Serena Williams)

My name is Sarah and I am one of the founders of Multiracial Media. Not only am I multiracial (Black, Asian and White), but I’ve also lived in or spent long periods of time in several countries, throughout the United States and now my husband and I live on the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. I see myself both in terms of my racial and ethnic identity as well as someone who appreciates the food, culture and customs of all nations—like a citizen of the world. Sarah’s World Beat column reflects this.

If you would like me to write about your culture or country, please drop me a line and suggest a topic.

2 Responses to Tennis Superstar Serena Williams and Reddit Co-founder Alexis Ohanian are Having a Baby, So Why All the Fuss?

  1. Avatar Constance E. Day says:

    As a mother of a white son and a biracial son, I am appalled at Ms. Hill’s comments about how can Serena want to raise a child that doesn’t look like her. Racism is live and well in all cultures which is so very evident by such statements. I have family that told me not to date black men and my mother told me she wanted to keep her bloodline clean too, yet she is adopted, and she never wanted to meet my biracial son. I nonetheless keep my biracial son from such family to brings such hate to this world or towards my child. It is certainly their loss to not meet such an amazing young man.

    • Avatar Sarah Ratliff says:

      Hi Constance,

      Thank you for this heartfelt and gut wrenching comment. Ms. Hill’s comments are indeed appalling. When she compared a consensual relationship to being a slave to a raping slave master, she really took it to a hideous level.

      My father’s father disowned my father for marrying my mother and so I think I can understand some of what you’re experiencing.

      We often tell ourselves if they would just meet us and take the time to get to know us, they’d see we’re not the monsters they think we are, but if we have to say that, those people–relatives or not–aren’t worth it, right?

      If you ever want to submit your story to Multiracial Media, we’d love to publish it. I bet many could empathize having gone through similar struggles.

      Thank you so much for commenting. I am so sorry you’ve experienced such bigotry and that your son, a child, has had to as well.

      Sarah Ratliff

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