Serena Williams dropped it like it was hot on Saturday, celebrating her first singles gold medal by performing an impromptu crip walk, a short 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 bare bottom on "NYPD Blue" was considered risque. The dance was just a dance, a nice homage to Serena's hometown. 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 because Serena chose to do a rhythmic shout-out.
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 the Queen after stealing the crown jewels. She broke out the dance for three seconds, while looking at her sister sitting in the player's box! It's a dance move, not a political statement. Are we going to analyze what the implications of Andy Murray climbing into his player's box too? Maybe it a was subtle commentary on the War of Scottish Independence and symbolized his nation's impeding ascent.
Serena looked at Venus after the move. It was like they were sharing a "can you believe we're here -- two sisters from the inner-city -- standing on Centre Court, both gold medal winners at the Olympics?" moment. She was representing. She did a dance move originated in her hometown while representing the United States. How is this wrong? If there were a "D.C. suburb dance" and I had any moves at all, I'd do the same thing after every successful post.
Not that it matters, but she insists she wasn't aware of what she was doing when she did the four dance steps. Serena's always a little disingenuous at press conferences, so I hardly believe her, especially because she knew exactly what the reporter was talking about when he asked what the dance was called.
"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.
- Sports & Recreation
- Performing Arts
- Serena Williams