On Sunday night, while a subset of the sports world was possibly watching the NBA All-Star Game, far more eyeballs were glued to CBS for Oprah sitting down with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry for a tell-all interview about the ill-treatment and racism they’ve received from the royal family and British tabloids in recent years.
In the interview, Markle detailed the horrific things she’s been called and ways the royal family has moved to isolate her. She noted that some members of the family, who she chose not to name, expressed concern over what the skin color of their son, Archie, would be, among other things and noted that at one point during her pregnancy she “didn’t want to be alive anymore.” They also announced, on a more happy note, that she was pregnant once again with a girl, but the focus for many was on the details of the racism and emotional abuse she has faced since marrying Harry.
Among those to respond to the interview was Serena Williams, who is friends with Markle and knows plenty about the racism and sexism you can face from the British tabloids over her career atop the tennis world and as a dominant player at Wimbledon. Williams called for people to “decry malicious, unfounded gossip and tabloid journalism” and voiced support for Markle as she deals with the mental and emotional toll that can take, particularly as a Black woman when those around you don’t support you.
In the leadup to this interview coming out, there were numerous hit pieces and attacks on Harry and Meghan and that will almost assuredly continue in the fallout from it going public, but it showed immense strength from Markle to speak out against what she’s dealt with and she has a powerful ally and friend to lean on in Serena Williams.