Serena Williams, or Coco Gauff, for that matter should not have been allowed to play the Wimbledon 2019 Championships. And this has nothing to do with the colours of their skin, for those who are quick to judge an individual simply by the colour of their skin. Serena should not have been allowed to pocket almost 1.2million pounds as her winning prize, being the runner-up to Simona Halep, the eventual winner of the prized championships. That’s a whopping N500 plus at the exchange rate of 460 to 1.
See how president of the tennis federation smiled as if he and the rest of the management of the prestigious tournament were happy that Serena was going to take away that huge part of the £38m prize money.
She should not have been allowed to enjoy the applause of the London faithful tennis lovers many of whom gave her a standing ovation for all the games she played. How many saw how David Beckham and numerous others continued to applaud her? Through and through. Imagine how her participation dominated reviews about the tournament where the focus was whether she would finally do the 24th grand slam or not. How many noticed how the cameras continued to focus on her and her husband. Methinks the cameras even seemed to focus more on her than Simona Halep. Whereas Simona Halep had her parents, her team and some few fans, the entire arena appeared like a Serena fans bazaar. That beautiful spectacle, including the match itself and the presentation of prizes should not have been allowed through any local or international broadcast media. I don’t want to talk about the Duchess of Sussex. We know their relationship go way, way back. But she was allowed to play. Not just because she has been an exceptional talent and athlete. Here is the real deal: she was allowed to play primarily because of what has happened between the UK and the USA since the Boston Tea Party of long, long ago. Both countries and their nationals should hate one another intensely seeing that their relationship ended in a bloody revolution. But they do not. At least from how we see them relate from where we are.
There is no way she and her likes, particularly, the promise of tomorrow, the sensational Coco Gauff, would have been allowed to play in the prestigious tournament if the United Kingdom and United States of America, had not buried their mutual suspicion, acrimony and hatred and replaced it with mutual respect, affirmation and collaboration.
There is no way Nigerians everywhere would have been gifted the beautiful spectacle of Serena Williams, Coco Gauff and other players, playing so impressively, if those who rule in the affairs of men, did not see the need to hold up the tournament for every Nigerian to enjoy but also take as a wake-up call to bury the bitterness, suspicion, hate, acrimony that is currently thrown by one part at the other. And afterwards see the kinds of wonders that would dot our landscape when we do.