This week, on Trail Blazers veteran Carmelo Anthony’s YouTube page, he shared a glass with professional tennis star Venus Williams on his weekly podcast, ‘What’s In Your Glass.’
As former world No. 1, Venus has reached 16 Grand Slam finals, while winning 14 Grand Slam Women's doubles titles, all with her little sister Serena Williams. The Williams sisters as a pair are unbeaten in Grand Slam doubles finals.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the tennis world coming to a halt, Venus has become a workout coach, posting various workouts on her Instagram.
“Since I couldn’t play I became a coach,” Williams laughed. “I just started doing these workouts on Instagram and I’ve been doing them now for three months, and it’s kind of just stuck. It’s everything with body weight or just simple things like a bottle of champagne… It’s been really fun.”
Along with workout talk, building businesses, and reminiscing about Venus’ tennis career and Olympic-memories, Melo and Venus also discussed the recent state of the world and Venus’ efforts in equality.
“You posted a very powerful statement on Instagram recently,” Anthony said. “You stated something of I think that racism is not only a black issue, just as sexism isn’t solely a women’s issue. In your opinion, how do you think we can make that meaningful change?”
“I think you have to paint a picture with words for people to understand,” Williams explained. “If you haven’t faced a lot of racism before or you don’t understand it, I think that was helpful to help people understand that it’s something that we all have to get through together and not to see it as just someone else’s problem.”
The two superstar athletes discussed how they want and need to use their voice and platforms to help the black community as well as push for women’s equality.
I know that I love the youth. I know that my platform is definitely with helping people at the grassroots level, especially -- helping young people with sports and education because of what it did for me, and what I see it do for young people all the time and helping, especially minorities, to rise up. Everyone should have an opportunity, but especially minorities -- to rise up through sports and education. – Venus Williams on ‘What’s in your Glass?’
Williams has been working on the progression of women’s equality in the tennis world for years.
She was instrumental in convincing the governing bodies of Wimbledon and the French Open to award BOTH men and women equal prize money. She accomplished the enormous feat in the mid-2000s.
“I had just dreamed about going to play in Wimbledon, I didn’t realize when I got there that it wouldn’t be equal… That was nothing I was thinking that I was going to be involved in and then you find yourself there… It was just an honor to be a part of it because it was something so much bigger than me just winning a title -- every single person that plays there from that day forward will get equal prize money.”
[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon]
Just as Melo mentioned later in the podcast, athletes aren’t ‘staying in their lane’ and just playing their sport, athletes across all professional leagues are speaking up and working towards change in many different aspects of life.
Listen to the entire podcast with Melo and Venus right here.