Serena Williams refutes rumours that she forced her husband Alexis Ohanian to resign from his company

Serena Williams and her husband, Alexis Ohanian.
Serena Williams and her husband, Alexis Ohanian.
Jim Spellman/Getty Images

American professional tennis player Serena Williams and her husband Alexis Ohanian had an open discussion about his recent resignation from Reddit, which he co-founded, and the inequality Serena has faced throughout her career in an IGTV video.

The couple’s conversation was sparked by the ongoing violence and systemic racism towards black people that continues to be at the forefront of America’s social economic issues.

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"When I thought about what Reddit needs, what business needed now more than ever, was someone that had a position of power to say, ‘there are too many white faces around the table, there have been for too long,’” said Alexis in the video.

“What are the things that I can do beyond donations.”

Serena expressed how proud she was of her husband but insisted that she had nothing to do with his decision to step down from the company he co-founded in 2005 and his bit to fight racial inequality.

“This is all Alexis, which is really cool. A lot of people may think that I told you to do something, or that I forced you, or that I was in your ear ... he doesn't listen to me ever! So that's not the case,” Serena said.

Alexis further explained about his decision to resign from his company saying:

“I really meant it when I said I think resignation can be an act of leadership and I know this puts Reddit in the best position possible,” he shared.

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"I think if every company took a look around their boardrooms on Monday and really had the honest, hard conversations, and said, 'Are we doing the best by our customers, by our team and by our shareholders with this board makeup?' I think we'd see more change."

He also shared how he has received heartfelt messages from strangers in business, specifically black men and women, applauding his decision.

The tennis star, who has a two-year-old baby girl, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. with her husband Alexis, also opened about her own experiences with racism.

“I've faced many different challenges. A lot of people don't know, my whole life I've had to deal with so many different challenges. I've had to deal with a lot of inequality, I've had to deal with racism. Honestly, sadly, it has become ... somewhat of a norm for me. It's sad that someone on my level has had to accept being paid less and accept so many different things because of the colour of my skin. I think I'd be very angry, very spiteful, very jealous if I didn't have this spiritual background,” she shared.

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The pair is devastated that one day they will have to discuss this topic with their child, as she "only knows love".

"You know that at some point, Olympia is gonna have a talk with you, a talk with us, but especially a talk with you about how she's gonna have to work that much harder, how she's gonna have to deal with this much more.... And that pissed me off,” Alexis told his wife.

See her post here: