Serena Williams, apparently feeling sentimental after giving birth to her first child, penned a heartfelt letter to her mother, Oracene Price, on Tuesday and posted it on Reddit – which was co-founded by her fiancé, Alexis Ohanian.
In the letter, Williams thanks her mom for her strength, and for helping her fend off critics who called Williams manly – or suggested she was on steroids – because of her muscular build.
“I’ve always been called man because I appeared outwardly strong,” Williams wrote. “It has been said I don’t belong in Women’s sports – that I belong in Men’s – because I look stronger than many other women do...Mom, I’m not sure how you did not go off on every single reporter, person, announcer and quite frankly, hater, who was too ignorant to understand the power of a black woman.”
She says in the letter than her daughter, Alexis Olympia, born Sept. 1, has her “exact same strong, muscular, powerful, sensational arms and body.”
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Williams goes on to say she is “proud” to show people that women “don’t all look the same. We are curvy, strong, muscular, tall, small, just to name a few, and all the same: we are women and proud!”
Williams is on maternity leave and plans to return to the WTA Tour at the Australian Open in January.