Remember how I groused the other day about Serena William’s Sportsperson of the Year cover being too cheesecake? Oh honey, since then Serena getting over sexualized has turned in the least of our worries. Turns out I totally missed the real controversy; since I made that post I have seen internet explode with outrage that Serena won at all. You see she lost in the reader’s poll. To a horse.
OK to be fair it’s not just any horse, we’re talking American Pharoah here, the first horse to win a Triple Crown (Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes) since 1978 and the only horse in history to take the Grand Slam by winning the Triple Crown and the Breeder’s Cup. Yup he’s some extraordinary horse.
But he’s still just a horse.
Unfortunately the small fact seems to escape a few people:
@SInow REALLY tennis over a TRIPLE CROWN WINNER? No wonder why people ignore horse racing when YOU discount how amazing the SPORT OF KINGS i
— Becca F (@eforrest40) December 14, 2015
Kings = racist snobs
I love how you give it to someone who "almost" won a grand slam when you could've given it up to an athlete who actually did. @SInow
— Juanita Webb (@NitaMarie65) December 14, 2015
Um, Serena has won the Grand Slam TWICE, just not in a calendar year.
— Julie Witt (@juliawitte9) December 14, 2015
if you pick a animal over a human don’t tell me that you have the utmost respect for the human. #itsahorsenotahuman
American Pharoah just got totally robbed with that Sportsman of the Year award.. Why even have a poll?
— Leah Vasquez (@im_just_leah) December 14, 2015
Honey, the horse don’t care.
Anyway you get the idea. A WOC’s worth as a athlete has been placed below that of a horse a scary large number of people.
American Pharoah could not be reached for comment, because, you know, he’s a HORSE, but I’m pretty sure he’s OK with Sport Illustrated’s decision as long as he has a full feedbag and water bucket. Dude’s on his way to retirement where all he will do for the next 20 years is eat and breed. He’ll be OK.
So how does Serena feel about all this? She’s handling it with grace and good humor, like a human should. Props to our girl. She’s been called all sorts of racist and sexist names, but having her accomplishments devalued for an animal is a new one. She actually joked about it bit in her acceptance speech:
“I’ve had my shares of ups and downs. I’ve had many struggles. I’ve had blood clots in both my lungs at the same time, and I’ve lived through tragedies and controversies and … horses.”
In case anyone needs to be reminded why this woman won over a horse, head over to the HuffPost and check out 25 Badass Photos Of Serena Williams Dominating 2015.