Serena Williams Defends Meghan Markle: 'Her Words Illustrate the Pain and Cruelty She’s Experienced'

Serena Williams knows firsthand the trauma that can be caused by years of racism and sexism.

The 23-time grand slam took to social media to publicly defend good friend Meghan Markle to praise her “empathy and compassion” and her strength to stand up to the “pain and cruelty” she faces every day.

“I know firsthand the sexism and racism institutions and the media use to vilify women and people of color to minimize us, to break us down and demonize us,” Serena tweeted. “We must recognize our obligation to decry malicious, unfounded gossip and tabloid journalism. The mental health consequences of systemic oppression and victimization are devastating, isolating and all too often lethal.”

Meghan contemplated suicide during her darkest days with the royal family, she revealed in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired Sunday night on CBS.

“I was ashamed to say it at the time and ashamed to have to admit it to Harry, especially because I know how much loss he’s suffered,” the 39-year-old former “Suits” actress said. “But I knew that if I didn’t say it, then I would do it. I just didn’t want to be alive anymore. That was clear and real and frightening and constant thought.”

But when Meghan went to what she called “the institution,” or the human resources department for the royal family, she was turned away.

I said ‘I need help,’ because at my old job there was a union and they would protect me,” Meghan told Winfrey.

“They said, ‘My heart goes out to you because I see how bad it is. But there’s nothing we can do to protect you because you’re not a paid employee.’”

Serena, who attended Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding in 2018, said she wants “a society that is driven by respect” for her 3-year-old daughter Alexis, Meghan’s daughter, due this summer, and every other girl in the world.

See Serena’s words below.

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