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“Give Her Respect”- Blatant Disrespect for Venus Williams in a “Nasty” Tribute Ft. Serena Williams and Billie Jean King Angers the Tennis World

Published 03/15/2023, 6:17 AM EDT

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Yesterday was a wonderful day to recognize and celebrate the WTA superstars who fought hard for equal compensation as it was the 50th anniversary of the historic moment. The US Open social media handles shared incredible tributes, uniting all the superstars under one banner to honor their contributions. From Billie Jean King to Serena Williams, the picture honored the prominent women who have found success at Flushing Meadows over the years. However, there was something about this touching tribute that didn’t sit well with tennis fans.

The US Open was the first major sporting event in history to award equal prize money to men’s and women’s athletes 50 years ago. It was a landmark moment in the history of sports and it opened up various avenues for women in tennis.

Venus Williams’ positioning causes an uproar online


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The US open official page earlier today shared a tribute remembering equal pay day and gave tribute to tennis legends including Billie Jean King, Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Iga Swiatek, Naomi Osaka, Coco Gauff, and Emma Raducanu.

In that tribute poster, King can be seen standing in the middle, while other tennis stars are standing beside her. However, tennis fans are quite unhappy with the way seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams was positioned on the poster. The elder Williams sister, who made her own way for the equal pay issue, was placed at the end.


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Even 2021 US Open winner, Emma Raducanu, was put ahead of Williams in the poster. Not only that, but a fan revealed that the positioning in the frame was actually made in accordance with Forbes’s highest-earning players list in 2022. Nonetheless, fans have flooded the comments section with their dissatisfied remarks over why one of the trailblazers was placed at the end. Here are some comments,

A fan wrote, “I’m sorry but to place Venus, at the back of this photo is NASTY business. Especially because today, because of her, and her valiant efforts towards equal pay, women earn the same as men, at not only Wimbledon – Other slams too!” 

While another fan shared, “Venus went the night before her Wimbledon final to speak about equal pay. She won. She honored BJK. Give her respect….at some point.”

Take a look at some more comments.

For further insight, let’s take a look at the seven-time Grand Slam champion and her equal wage fight for women at Wimbledon. She is the one who actually completed the fight that the 12-time Grand Slam champion, King, started with the ‘battle of sexes.’


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Williams’ contribution to the equal pay battle

Venus Williams played a huge role during the Wimbledon Championship in 2007 to bridge the pay gap in tennis. She had been an advocate for equal pay for a long time. After years of struggle, she was the first woman to collect equal prize money after winning Wimbledon in 2007.

WATCH THIS STORY – 42-Year-Old Venus Williams Relishes the Best Impulsive Decision of Her Life That happened 16 Years Ago – ‘I Love Him Already..’


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That year, Williams and Roger Federer, who won the men’s championship, were each awarded an equal amount of money for their efforts. Nevertheless, the 42-year-old tennis player is quite proud of the moment and the way she fought for the future of women’s tennis.

What are your thoughts on the poster? Let us know in the comments.



Pratishtha Prakash

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Pratishtha Prakash is a Tennis writer at EssentiallySports. She has completed her Bachelor’s degree in Mass Media and Journalism from MIT ADT University, Pune. In the past, she has interned at the sports desk of The Hitavada, a regional English daily newspaper.

Edited By: Pragya Vashisth