Serena Williams ’ husband Alexis Ohanian shocked the world when he made the executive decision to step down from the board of Reddit. The co-founder of the tech site announced last week that he made the powerful decision to leave space and encouraged the company to fill the vacancy with an African American. For Alexis, the ultimate inspiration for his choice was inspired by his and Serena’s daughter Alexis Olympia . Over the weekend, the tennis champion and her love sat down for a candid conversation about his choice.
To start, Alexis revealed that the choice was his. “A lot of people might think I told you to do something,” Serena said. “Or forced you. He doesn’t listen to me.” Alexis shared that the choice was 100 percent his own. The all-star dad recalled how speaking with his wife and raising a black daughter moved the needle for the change.
“One of the things that really broke me at some point in the last week, I was looking at Olympia, she’s 2½ now, and she is such a pure, just blank canvas,” he said. “She only knows love. There is not an ounce of hate in her body…at some point, Olympia is going to have to have a talk with you, a talk with us, but especially a talk with you, about how she’s going to have to work that much harder, how she’s going to have to deal with this much more, that pisses me off.”
He continued: “I’m sitting here like, if I’m this pissed off just now, how have you been able to endure your entire life? How have generations of black Americans been able to endure your entire life? Because If I’m just getting this mad right now, I wouldn’t be able to function.”
For Alexis, it’s important for him to have the open and honest conversations. “I have the privilege of being married to you. These are conversations that come up in one whole or another. Or even things that are in that moment harmless, and you will check me on. I think this is important, especially now more than ever – for all of us in white America, especially white men to get comfortable with that pain. I welcome the discomfort.”