3 Total Updates since August 4, 2012
10 months ago Update 1 comment
After defeating Maria Sharapova to win Olympic gold, Serena Williams celebrated with a dance -- specifically, a Crip Walk, a dance move popularized by the Los Angeles gang of the same name. Whether it was a spontaneous outburst of emotion or a planned homage to her Compton, Calif. roots, it caught everyone by surprise, especially since it occurred in the stodgy confines of Wimbledon's All England Club.
Viewers familiar with the dance move erupted with glee on Twitter, while reporters on the scene -- perhaps unaware of the dance's origin -- were apparently equally amused.
But when asked about the dance, Williams suddenly grew self-conscious. From Reid Forgrave of FOX Sports:
"It was just me. I love to dance," she told a swarm of reporters afterward - every single one of them white. "I didn't know what else to do. I was so happy, and next thing I know I started dancing and moving. I didn't plan it. It just happened."
She was pleading ignorance. She knew that even associating the word "Crip" with a gold-medal performance could be toxic to her image, even if the dance itself is now distanced from those gang roots. A reporter asked what the dance was called. "The Serena?" the reporter suggested. "The Wimbledon?"
Serena just stared at the ground, embarrassed.
"Actually, there is a name. But I don't know if I - it's inappropriate," she dodged. "It's just a dance we do in California."
But should Williams be embarrassed? Despite its unsavory origins, the dance move now belongs to pop culture. Refusing to acknowledge such context is as asinine as it is offensive.
10 months ago Commentary 6 commentsContinue
10 months ago Update 0 comments
Serena Williams won the gold medal in women's singles at the 2012 Summer Olympics on Saturday, absolutely dismantling Maria Sharapova in straight sets, 6-0, 6-1. And really, it wasn't even that close.
Serena took the first game with three aces, broke Sharapova in the second, and then never looked back, winning the first set, 6-0. Sharapova did not hold serve and win her first game until the second set, when she made it 3-1, roughly 45 minutes into the match. The final took a total of just 63 minutes.
After Serena delayed the start a couple of times for what the NBC announcers speculated was either "nerves" or "bathroom breaks" (perhaps both?), the 2012 Wimbledon champion came out and wrecked shop against Sharapova, the tournament's No. 3 seed, and the No. 3 ranked women's player in the world. The domination was hardly anything new for Serena -- she lost just 17 games in her six matches during the Olympics, and including the 2012 Wimbledon Championships, Williams was a perfect 13-0 at the All England Club this summer.
Earlier in the day, Belarus' Victoria Azarenka won the bronze medal, defeating Russia's Maria Kirilenko, 6-3, 6-4.
For Serena, who had already completed the career grand slam, it's her first gold medal, making her just the second women's player to accomplish the career Golden Slam (Steffi Graf being the other). Serena will team up with sister Venus later Saturday afternoon in the women's doubles semifinals
After match point, Serena let out a scream and then -- on the grass court of Wimbledon, mind you -- celebrated with a perfect crip-walk.
For more on the Olympics, check out SB Nation's London 2012 Olympics Hub.