Should Physical Appearance Matter in Sports ?

by A.Boudreau on Septembre 8, 2015 - 10:24pm


      Claudia Rankine’s article from The New York Times Magazine, titled “The Meaning of Serena Williams” was published on August 25th 2015. The article discusses Serena William’s success in tennis. The author mentions several of her athletic achievement and those that Serena Williams may achieve in the future. Rankine writes about black excellence and how an athlete like Serena Williams has to work even harder than a white athlete because she has to face racism. Through her career she has been faced with many racist remarks such as her skin color and masculine physical appearance. Further discussed in the article is the public’s idea, of the perfect tall blond tennis player. Serena Williams rival, Maria Sharapova according to Forbes is worth 5 million more than Serena. Serena Williams being a better player than Maria Sharapova should be ranked higher. Maria Sharapova has the physical appearance that corresponds to what the majority of the public wants to see. Therefore marketing companies are more interested in what will satisfy the public, and as a result make more money. The idea of the blond, paled skin athlete is not a reality for Serena Williams, because of her African American background. She is being discriminated and not given the proper reward for her efforts and success because of her skin color.

    The article from “The Meaning of Serena Williams” by Claudia Rankine is very interesting as it mentions several racist factor Serena Williams is faced against. The concept of black excellence is one that I believe is very true, that black athletes have to work even harder in order to attain success. Even if this concept is true, it should not be. Especially in sports were the most important factor is the victories and defeats of the athletes. Physical appearance should not be taken into consideration when talking about sports, but rather performance and results. Very little genetic differences exist between humans therefore we should all be seen as equals rather than separated into different races. Sports are about performance and athletes that inspire others to push themselves to achieve success. Physical appearance should not be taken into consideration; companies who sponsor athletes should not base themselves on whether the athlete is white, black or Asian. They should base themselves on actual facts and the athlete’s statistics and career. Sports are all about performance and just like Serena Williams proudly shows to the public, all athletes should be able to be their true selves.

Rankine, C.R. (August 25th 2015). The Meaning of Serena Williams. The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved from :          

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