Serena Williams dropped it like it was hot on Saturday, celebrating her first singles gold medal by performing an impromptu crip walk, a dance move popularized by gang members in her hometown of Compton.
The move mostly passed by without incident because crip walk controversies date from the same era in which a curse word on “NYPD Blue” was considered to be too risque for television. But then someone overreacted and ginned up a phony controversy on this side of the Atlantic and now the very fabric of our culture is threatened.
And there was Serena — the tennis legend, the winner of 14 individual Grand Slams, the best player of her generation, the American girl being crowned at the All-England Club as the queen of tennis — Crip-Walking all over the most lily-white place in the world.
She didn’t do it on purpose. It was a moment of unbridled joy. She pumped her fist, jumped up and down, looked into the crowd, then did her ill-timed dance.
You couldn’t help but shake your head. It was as if Serena just couldn’t seem to avoid dipping into waters of controversy even as she’d ascended to the top of her sport.
Relax, everyone. This makes it seem like Serena crip walked away from stealing the Queen’s crown jewels. She broke out the dance for three seconds, while looking at her sister sitting in the player’s box. It was more a moment of “after all we’ve been through, can you believe we’re here — two sisters from Compton — at Wimbledon and I’m joining you in winning a gold medal?” moment rather than a “I’m making a statement about supporting a gang war type of thing.”
Serena is from Compton! If there were a “suburb dance” and could actually dance, I’d do the same thign.
Serena insists she was just dancing too, though she can be so disingenuous in press conferences that it’s hard to tell what she really means. She knew enough that the name of the dance might be offensive to some.
“Actually, there is a name,” she said of the dance. “But I don’t know if I — it’s inappropriate. It’s just a dance we do in California.”
And now on Centre Court. Be proud, Compton. It ain’t no fun, if the Williams’ can’t dance none.