23 Grand Slam titles, 72 Women’s Tennis Association titles and four Olympic gold medals. Serena Williams has continued to be a role model, not just for female athletes but all women. Her consistent ability to break convention and push boundaries is a constant inspiration.
Tom Brady is the most accomplished player in the most popular league in the U.S., making it easy to be known as the Greatest Of All Time. With seven Super Bowl rings and five Super Bowl MVPs, and with so many nicknames derived from his clutch factor, Brady has a resume that is more than GOAT worthy.
In the nearest equivalent to the NFL, Serena Williams has 23 Major titles to Tom Brady’s 7 titles. Williams has 33 such appearances, while Brady has 10 respectively. Williams ended the season as the number one ranked player (MVP) 5 times, while Brady has won 3 of the sort. In the final critical stat, Williams has won 358 games in Finals sets, whereas Tom Brady has 230 career wins.
A study by ESPN ranked football the third most difficult skill set and tennis the seventh. Those making up the study consisted of “a group made up of sports scientists from the United States Olympic Committee, of academicians who study the science of muscles and movement, of a star two-sport athlete, and of journalists who spend their professional lives watching athletes succeed and fail.”
However, whoever holds the title of GOAT should be so based on accomplishments both on and off the court, or pitch, or field. Operating under that definition, Serena Williams is far and away the greatest athlete of all time.
In 2017 Serena Williams became a mother, narrowly so as Williams suffered a near-death experience due to blood clots coming up in the birthing process. Williams had been suffering from pulmonary embolism, which essentially is a blocked artery in the lungs. When Williams gave birth in her emergency C-section, it threw off her blood thinners and nearly killed her in the birth process.
In order to prevent this from happening again, Williams debuted a made-for-tennis bodysuit, which the French Tennis Federation labeled “disrespectful.” The bodysuit, as well as compression clothing, is designed to reduce the risk of blood clots happening. Therefore, Williams was essentially receiving backlash for protecting herself from dying.
This story, combined with the various racist and sexist remarks that have been thrown at her, are part of a long list of critics that continue to undermine her various successes anytime she breaks any convention.
Tom Brady survived a cheating scandal infamously known as deflategate, which questioned the legitimacy of big victories following proof that some footballs were deflated to have a better grip. Brady suffered a four-game ban as well as the team getting fined, yet after the dust settled, Brady walked clean.
It’s difficult to imagine Williams surviving such a scandal with all the sexism and racism she faces. Nonetheless the trending comparison of Brady and Williams can be discussed to no end. There will never truly be a single GOAT, but it’s safe to say that we are living in a legendary era of sports’ greatest.