Tennis megastar Serena Williams and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian announced their engagement Thursday with a poem on the subreddit “r/isaidyes” with fans voicing their praise. Unfortunately, not everyone was happy with the announcement.
Some social media users were left shocked that Serena, who is considered to be one of the greatest athletes of her time, would marry a white man. Ohanian is of Armenian and German descent.
Others said that Williams would no longer be seen as a role model for young black women because the man she got engaged to is white.
But other Twitter users had her back, congratulating the couple and calling haters out on their prejudice.
Serena Williams is a world-renowned athlete but you decided to call her "Drake & Common's Ex" how extra https://t.co/9bd1AsLFwK
— Millennial of Manila (@MillennialOfMNL) December 30, 2016
.@serenawilliams is engaged!!!!💜💚❤ Congratulations babe!!!! 💍💐
— Nikitaa Gandhir (@Q7Niki) December 30, 2016
Black men have notoriously stripped Serena Williams of her womanhood. Called her a man and whatnot. BUT NOW YOU CALL YOURSELF BEING UPSET???
— busan babe™ (@melaninbarbie) December 29, 2016
Serena Williams marrying a white guy was actually a topic of conversation and to some a problem?? Shame on y'all.
— lilTDon (@TaraDonaho) December 30, 2016
Congratulations to two wonderful people Serena Williams & Alexis Ohanian on their recent engagement. Love🎾 Love is great in this case.
— Stacey Majessick (@MrsMajessick) December 30, 2016
Williams and Ohanian have been in a relationship since 2015, following her breakup with the Canadian rapper Drake, according to Business Insider.
In the Reddit poem, posted on “r/isaidyes,” a subreddit Williams created specifically for sharing the announcement, she wrote that Ohanian took her to Rome, where they first met, and got down on one knee. Ohanian then responded, under his user name “kn0thing”.
ATTN noted that while interracial marriage has become more common over the years, it wasn’t legalized until 1967 when the Supreme Court struck down remaining state laws against marriage between black and white people.
Interracial marriages have increased since then, making up 8.4% of all existing marriages in 2010, a jump from 3.2% in 1980, according to a study by the Pew Research Center.
On the other hand, Asians and Native Americans are the most likely to marry a person outside of their race, according to the study.