Following the couple’s eye-opening interview with Oprah Winfrey, Williams released a statement on social media to offer support to her “selfless friend,” whom she said exemplified the true meaning of nobility.
“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 us down and demonize us,” the 23-time grand slam singles winner wrote.
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) March 8, 2021
Williams, 39, expressed that she sympathizes with the mental anguish Markle has endured and condemned the rude and bigoted behavior of those against Markle’s union to the Duke of Sussex.
“We must recognize our obligation to decry malicious and unfounded gossip,” the tennis star wrote. “The mental health consequence of systemic oppression and victimization are devastating, isolating and all too often lethal.”
As Blavity previously reported, Markle shared during the sit-down with Winfrey that the royal family expressed concern about the color of her son Archie’s skin while she was pregnant.
“There were concerns and conversations about how dark [Archie’s] skin might be,” Markle said.
When Winfrey later pressed the couple about specific parties who may have expressed concern over Archie’s skin tone, they refused to name a culprit, saying it would have been “very damaging to them.”
In a follow-up conversation, Winfrey said that Markle confirmed that neither the queen nor Prince Phillip participated in the conversation about the baby’s complexion.
The revelation has led online pundits to suggest that it was either Prince William or his father Prince Charles who made the insulting discussion.
“We were very scared having to offer up our baby, knowing they weren’t going to be kept safe. In those months when I was pregnant, all around the same time…we have in tandem the conversation of [whether] he won’t be given security, he’s not going to be given a title,” Markle said.
In her statement, Williams, who said she knows “first hand” how women and Black people are “minimized,” referred to Markle as Noble.
“I want Meghan’s daughter, my daughter, and your daughter to live in a society driven by respect,” Williams’ statement read.
In one of the more positive notes from the Oprah interview, the couple announced that they are expecting a girl this summer.
HuffPost reported that Williams and Markle first met at a Super Bowl event in 2010. Williams would later attend Markle’s royal wedding in 2018. Later that year, the tennis star told People that she advised the former actress to “stop being so nice” while she juggled pregnancy and her issues with royal life.