Serena Williams took to the Oscar stage to present a best picture nominee, but it’s her other appearance during the Academy Awards that’s driving social media crazy, and in all the right ways.
The tennis superstar narrates a powerful Nike commercial about the double standard female athletes constantly face on their way to achieving greatness.
“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, delusional,” Williams says in the voiceover to the new Nike ad, “Dream Crazier.”
“When we stand for something, we’re unhinged. When we’re too good, there’s something wrong with us. And if we get angry, we’re hysterical, irrational, or just being crazy.”
The 90-second spot, which had its TV debut during the Oscars, features clips of Olympic champs, including snowboarder Chloe Kim and gymnast Simone Biles, hijab-wearing fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, and San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon.
The ad is Nike’s follow up to last year’s “Just Do it” spot featuring Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL quarterback who became famous for kneeling during the national anthem in protest of police brutality.
The new Nike ad features several action clips of Williams, who has won 23 tennis grand slam titles but who the ad suggests has been described as “crazy, crazy, crazy and crazy” because she had a baby and then returned to the sport.
“So, if they want to call you crazy, fine," Williams says at the ad's conclusion. "Show them what crazy can do."