[CR1] Serena Williams (USA) vs. [CR68] Monica Niculescu (ROU)
Sport has a funny way of testing our values and character, which is probably why sport is important. Serena’s historic return to Indian Wells was about tennis, but more importantly it was about a woman’s struggle to find forgiveness. Wise people have written for centuries that we cannot grow if we fail to practice forgiveness. The common perception nowadays is that forgiveness is weakness, or the acceptance of poor behavior–but it isn’t. Forgiveness is about freeing yourself from fear and about spiritual growth. Serena has avoided Indian Wells since 2001 out of fear. Nobody likes being rejected.
Despite our status, titles or what it says on our passport, we will forever encounter people who are narrow-minded. Serena should walk away from this victory proud to be a black woman, and by the victory I do not mean the score of 7-5, 7-5. It is easy to do the right thing when there are no stakes; however, the test of character is to do the right thing when it’s hard. It was not easy for Serena to return to the place where she was hurt by racial slurs. As a Christian and as an American woman of values, she knew she had no choice.
In a time when we are battered with scandal after vulgar scandal surrounding our sports celebrities, Serena’s courage in returning showed old-fashioned leadership.