ESPN Presents “The Undefeated-In-Depth: Serena Williams With Common”
ESPN will present The Undefeated In-Depth: Serena with Common – an exclusive conversation between tennis champion and sports star Serena Williams and Oscar and Grammy Award-winning artist Common – on Sunday, Dec. 18 at 9 p.m. ET.
The one-hour program taped October in Brooklyn, New York, and earlier this month in Compton, Calif., will feature Serena Williams discussing her career as one of the world’s greatest athletes, the challenge of being an African American at the top of her sport, coming to terms with her body, her decision to speak up on social issues, and more.
“Serena with Common” is the third in a series of multimedia content initiatives by The Undefeated featuring up-close and personal conversations between African Americans who are accomplished in their chosen professions and recognized as impactful leaders across different fields.
TheUndefeated.com will also publish a series of taped conversations hosted and executive produced by Common with singer, actor and social activist Harry Belafonte; New York Times columnist and political commentator Charles Blow; activist and #BlackLivesMatter leader DeRay McKesson; as well as artist and photographer Loma Simpson.
The Undefeated is ESPN’s multiplatform content initiative exploring the intersections of sports, race and culture. The digital hub, TheUndefeated.com, which launched in May 2016, combines innovative long-form and short-form storytelling, investigation, original reporting and provocative commentary to enlighten and entertain African Americans, as well as sports fans seeking a deeper understanding of black athletes, culture and related issues.
Here are a few excerpts from Serena Williams’ sit-down with Common:
- On dealing with body image: “There was a time where I didn’t feel incredibly comfortable about my body, because I felt like I was too strong. And then I had to take a second and think well, who says I’m too strong? This body has enabled me to be the greatest player I can be and I’m not going to scrutinize that. This is great. I mean, this is amazing.”
- On being the greatest athlete of all time: “I think if I were a man, I would have been in that conversation a long time ago. Like six, seven years ago.”
- On scrutiny she faced early in her career: “I just feel like I definitely was scrutinized because I was confident. I am black and I am confident. I would say I feel like I’m good. I feel like I can be number on – Oh no no, you can’t say that.”
- On an athlete’s duty to social activism: “I don’t know if it’s their duty. I think it is inside each person individually on how they feel … I really believe if you believe in something, you’ll want to speak. You have to just be honest and true to yourself.”
Be sure to tune in Sunday, Dec. 18 at 9 p.m. ET.
In related news, Common released his 11th studio album, Black America Again, last month to critical acclaim. The album features the single “Letter To The Free” with Bilal and the Chi-town spitter also just dropped the visual shot by Bradford Young. The moving song was also featured in Ava Duvernay’s Netflix documentary 13th, which takes a look at the school to prison pipeline and the 13th amendment of the Constitution. Check out the visual below which was shot inside a prison to bring the subject to an even brighter light.