These female athletes are doing much more than stealing the spotlight in their sport–they are using their platforms to fight for social justice.
Venus and Serena Williams
The most legendary duo in all of tennis and arguably all of sports, Venus and Serena Williams, are also advocates for the vegan lifestyle. While this act is a small step toward mitigating climate change and encouraging healthier diets, these two have embraced the challenge. Fueled by plants, the Williams sisters are not only doing their part for the planet, but they continue to compete and succeed at the highest level in all of tennis.
Coco Gauff stands in the tennis spotlight with Venus and Serena Williams, and has recently emerged as a major voice in the Black Lives Matter movement. The young star was very vocal throughout the spring of 2020, dedicating her time to speaking out against police brutality and promoting racial equality in the United States. While she expected to have a dominant career on the court, her efforts are equally as powerful in the fight for social justice.
Basketball star Maya Moore has opted out of the upcoming 2020 WNBA season as well as the next Summer Olympics. She is taking time off to focus on fighting the racial biases that riddle the United States Criminal Justice system. “It’s just so much bigger than me,” she said to Time, as she puts basketball on hold to pursue racial equality
Two-time Olympic gold medalist and FIFA Women’s World Cup champion, Abby Wambach, was instrumental in generating noise around the issue of equal pay and resources for the women’s national soccer team. Although the star athlete has since retired from the sport, she continues to dedicate her time to being an outspoken advocate for equality and inclusion. “I started to get pissed,” Wambach said via SheKnows, as she looked back on her soccer career. She knew there was work to be done to put men and women on a level playing field, and continues to tackle it head on.
UCONN Women’s Basketball superstar and No.1 pick of the 2016 WNBA draft, Breanna Stewart, is an outspoken figure for representational equality in sport. “I’m trying to understand why we, as professional female athletes, don’t receive anywhere near the fame,” Stewart said to SheKnows. “This has to change.” Stewart recognizes that she, as a four-time NCAA champion and Nike endorsee, is at the height of notoriety in women’s athletics–she is prepared to use this platform to fight for the spotlight in a male-dominated world.