Tennis legend Serena Williams made two appearances at Sunday’s Oscars event, first taking to the stage to present the Lady Gaga film A Star Is Born, and then being featured in the latest Nike advert.
The ad, titled Dream Crazier, pays homage to women athletes from around the world and features, among others, sports stars such as South Africa’s very own Caster Semenya, gymnast Simone Biles, and fencing champ Ibtihaj Muhammad.
In the advert, for which Williams does the voiceover, she says: “If we show emotion, we’re called dramatic. If we want to play against men, we’re nuts. And if we dream of equal opportunity, we’re delusional. When we stand for something, we’re unhinged… And if we get angry, we’re hysterical, irrational, or just being crazy.”
In the segment of the ad showing footage of Caster Semenya, you hear Williams saying: “When we’re too good, there’s something wrong with us.”
Nike’s collaborative advertisement is a timely campaign for two reasons – the first being that it was released at the Oscars just hours before the Australian Press Council deemed a cartoon depicting Williams’ 2018 Wimbledon tantrum as acceptable.
The second is that it comes days after the latest court debacle between Caster Semenya and the International Association of Athletics Federations over her gender.
Some have said that Nike may be pushing the envelope and making a statement with its latest ad campaign but, whatever the global brand’s reasons, they made a pretty good bet by hiring the biggest female sports star in the world.
Watch the Advert Here: