Serena Williams is defending her friend Meghan Markle after she spoke out about the racism that she's experienced at the hands of the British press and within the institution of the royal family since marrying Prince Harry.
"Meghan Markle, my selfless friend, lives her life —and leads by example — with empathy and compassion," Williams wrote on Instagram after Markle and Harry's sit-down interview with Oprah aired on Sunday night. "She teaches me every day what it means to be truly noble. Her words illustrate the pain and cruelty she's experienced."
Williams' words came after Markle opened up to the world about the severe mistreatment she received as a biracial member of the British royal family, detailing how concerns were shared about the skin tone of her and Harry's son Archie before he was born and protocol was changed to ensure that the boy wouldn't receive a title or protection from the institution. Markle also made shocking revelations about how the British tabloids often twisted the truth in favor of sensationalized headlines that favored other members of the family, driving her to suicidal thoughts. Williams ensured that she understands the discrimination at play.
"I know first hand the sexism and racism institutions and the media use to vilify women and people of color to minimize us, to break up down and demonize us," Williams' statement reads. "We must recognize our obligation to decry malicious, unfounded gossip and tabloid journalism. The mental health consequences of systematic oppression and victimization are devastating, isolating and all too often lethal."
The mother to 3-year-old Alexis Olympia Ohanian, whom Williams shares with husband Alexis Ohanian, went on to share her hopes for a better future for her daughter and Markle's unborn baby girl.
"I want Meghan's daughter, my daughter and your daughter to live in a society that is driven by respect," Williams continued. "Keep in your memory the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control. Against such things there is no law."
Williams' followers quickly praised the athlete for her public show of support. "I love everything about this. We all need to support one another," one person commented. Another wrote, "Beautifully said. Nothing like women supporting women."
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