Venus and Serena Williams: Talking Race and Politics

Rich RodriguezCorrespondent IMarch 5, 2008

Andy Roddick isn't the only tennis baller feeling all political these days. The "Sisters Sledge"โ€”Venus and Serena Williamsโ€”threw their racquets in the ring and spoke out on the emergence of minorities, more specifically African-Americans, in tennis and in the U.S. at this week's Bangalore Open where they're playing singles and team up for doubles play.

Eight-time Grand Slam champion Serena said, "Each year when I go on tour and at the U.S. Open, I see another black face. It just makes my heart smile."

However, she emphasized the limited access to the sport for some saying, "Maybe sometime if you want to talk economics, then maybe it (tennis) might not be affordable to some black people. Traditionally you look at tennis, you see in the past, 50 years, maybe one black player there. Tennis is an expensive sport."

Older sister Venus, who is widely recognized as a catalyst for getting women equal prize money at Wimbledon, commented on the current U.S. presidential race saying, "It is good that minorities are coming to the fore, (Barack) Obama is an example."

But she was quick to point out she's "equally happy" for Hillary Clinton, though "it is tough for Afro-Americans in the US."ย