November 9, 2008

Obama victory inspires Williams Sisters

The Williams sisters embraced Obama's victory during the WTA Tour's season-ending tournament in Doha.

"America is a wonderful place. I love my country, and I love living there. I love my passport. But also it's a country that almost since its beginning, it was supposed to be a place where people were escaping intolerance. It became a country that was really intolerant of different minorities and skin colors," Venus said.

"My dad grew up in Louisiana, a place where he was called 'boy' and shown no respect. Where he couldn't say anything. His mother was a poor sharecropper," she said. "So I think it's amazing that America has the opportunity to have someone who is a minority of mixed race or whatever you want to call it. Hopefully, it will just give more people opportunities and more people will work hard and say, 'Yeah, I can be my best, too, no matter what my background is'."

Serena saw it the same way. "It's just everything that I think African Americans have been through, I mean even 40 years ago, even 30 years ago, and even today still. It's just a great time to be black right now in the United States," she said. "Everyone's proud."

Serena said she was almost speechless to think of the Obama family in the White House. "I got choked up. I was just thinking about everything - Martin Luther King and Malcolm X and all the pioneers … Althea Gibson, why I'm playing tennis today. All of these people. Arthur Ashe, who led the way for us … it's amazing, she said.

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