Tennis superstar Serena Williams has called for calm in the United States, saying she fears for the lives of relatives as racial tensions and gun violence grips her country.
A trailblazer for African-American women’s tennis players, Williams said she’d been saddened by the events in Dallas, where a sniper attack on police in has left five officers dead.
The incident took place following a protest by the Black Lives Matter movement that alleges US police officers are prone to using excessive violence against African-Americans.
Thursday protest was in response to what activists characterised as unjustified killings by police of two black men this week in other parts of the country.
“I feel anyone in my colour in particular is of concern,” Williams said after winning Wimbledon for a seventh time on Saturday.
“I do have nephews that I’m thinking: do I have to call them and tell them, ‘Don’t go outside’. If you get in your car, it might be the last time I see you.’
“That is something that I think is of great concern because it will be devastating. They’re very good kids. I don’t think that the answer is to continue to shoot our young black men in the United States.
“It’s just unfortunate. Or just black people in general.”
Williams said violence wasn’t the solution to bridging racial divides.
“The shooting in Dallas was very sad. No one deserves to lose their life, doesn’t matter what colour they are, where they’re from,” Williams said.
“We’re all human. We have to learn that we have to love one another. It’s going to take a lot of education and a lot of work, I think, to get to that point.
“But I think, in general, the entire situation is extremely sad, especially for someone like me.
“It’s something that is very painful to see happening.”