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Serena Williams' retirement highlights double standards in sports

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Tennis legend Serena Williams has been a passionate advocate for gender equality on and off the court. When she announced her retirement from the sport on Tuesday morning, she made an important point about the unique sacrifices women have to make in their careers.

Williams, who turns 41 next month, said in a Vogue article that she will retire after the US Open, which starts in late August. It will be.

“I never liked the word retirement,” Williams wrote in the article. is here to tell you that I am evolving away from tennis and towards other things that are important to me.”

Williams cited her family as the main reason she left the sport, writing that her four-year-old daughter Olympia wants to be a big sister. I am married to

But Williams points out that the desire to increase the family wouldn’t be a career-ending move if she were a man.

“Believe me, I never thought I would have to choose between tennis and family,” she wrote. I wouldn’t have written this because I would have played outside and won while my wife was doing manual labor to expand our family.”

“I could be more Tom Brady if I had the chance,” Williams wrote, referring to Brady, the football legend who has three children and played 22 seasons in the NFL before announcing his retirement in February. (45 years old). In his heart and mind, he announced that he would be returning for his 23rd NFL season just one month later.

“Don’t get me wrong, I love being a woman and I loved every second that I was pregnant with Olympia.” It included winning the Australian Open.

Williams endured serious health complications after the birth of her daughter, including a pulmonary embolism that left her bedridden for weeks and postpartum depression.

Ahead of her 41st birthday, Williams realized her chances of getting pregnant again were limited. “As an athlete, I don’t want to get pregnant again,” she said.

Her retirement speaks to the broader challenges that working mothers in the United States continue to face. Past research has shown that women most often adjust their work schedules to accommodate family needs and suffer significant career interruptions and setbacks.

In the world of professional sports, the difference is even more pronounced. In an article for The Conversation, sports professors Margie Davenport and Tara-Leigh McHugh wrote: Female athletes who are in their 30s and want to have children are often forced to make “difficult choices.”

To date, Williams has won 73 career singles titles, 23 career doubles titles, and more than $94 million in career wins, CNBC reports. In addition to focusing on her family, the tennis star is looking forward to expanding Serena Ventures, a venture she launched in 2019 to help women, people of color and young entrepreneurs. she said there was.

Williams hesitated to think about her legacy, but admitted that the question has always puzzled her. ” I hope.

“They can play aggressive, they can pump their fists. They can be strong and beautiful,” she wrote. You can say whatever you want, kick your ass, and be proud of it all.”

But she also wants her legacy to transcend the sport that made her famous. “I hope it is. Selena is this, she is that, she’s a great tennis player and won those grand slams.”

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