Serena Williams Crip Walk Controversy: Olympics 2012
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Aug 18, 2012

Serena Williams Crip Walk Controversy: Olympics 2012

Serena Williams, a Wimbledon champion, actress, Wilson BLX spokesperson and now,  an Olympic gold medalist for women`s tennis singles.
This year`s Olympics has been a fantastic one to watch for the US. We saw Serena Williams take home the gold in Women`s singles and USA gymnast Gabby Douglas made history. Despite the amazing strides in athleticism that the USA has taken this year, the Olympics just wouldn`t be complete without a little controversy.

This has undoubtedly been a great year for Serena Williams, arguably her most successful year to date, but as she won her first Olympic singles title  on August 4th 2012, her excitement may have caused quite a stir, resulting in some negative feedback from critics.
After winning, Serena was so overjoyed that she broke out into a dance on the court;
a dance known as the Crip Walk. Why would a celebration cause so much controversy?
 The Crip Walk has gang affiliation.
The Crips are mostly an African-American gang founded in Los Angeles, Calif. in 1969 and are known as one of the largest and most violent gangs in the United States. The Crip Walk, also known as the C-Walk, is a dance created by the gang`s members.
Williams told reporters that, "It was just me. I love to dance," but critics say that it was inappropriate due to the Crip Walk`s violent connotation. Serena even said it herself; when asked by a naive  reporter what she would name the dance Serena replied, "Actually, there is a name. But I don't know if I -- it's inappropriate. It's just a dance we do in California."
Fox Sports reporter, Jason Whitlock said, "What Serena did was akin to cracking a tasteless, X-rated joke inside a church... Serena deserved to be called out. What she did was immature and classless.”
Others insisted that it was an innocent celebration. Snoop Lion, formerly known as Snoop Dogg (he recently changed his name after converting to Rastafarianism) tweeted, “Shot out to Serena williams. C walking at the Olympics Cpt style hahahahah! Go girl.”
Washington Post reporter Clinton Yates also feels that critics are being too sensitive saying ,"Where was all the outrage when “You Got Served” — a movie that prominently featured a C-Walking dance battle — came out? Is the C-Walk suddenly more taboo as a dance because it happened on the Olympic stage rather than in a second-rate movie?"
Yahoo! Sports reporter Chris Chase also feels that people are reading way too much into Serena`s jig stating, "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."
As for Serena, she says she is too busy to care about what people are saying, telling Us Weekly, "I don’t' care. That's the least of my worries . . . I'm so excited I was able to do the dance. I'm glad I did it!" But should she be worried? Should she have thought twice before tossing her Wilson BLX to the side and breaking out in the C-Walk?
No Olympics goes without a little controversy and with players under a microscope we are bound to find some.
Even Gabby Douglas, the 16 year old gymnast who made history was criticized for her hair style after winning two gold medals for the USA. And of course we can`t forget about the controversy that surrounded American swimmer Michael Phelps back in 2009 when pictures surfaced of him smoking marijuana.
Are Americans just too sensitive or was the dance inappropriate? Are we just looking for some drama?

Guest contributor Courtney Sloan is a freelance writer from San Diego, Calif. As a tennis enthusiast, she enjoys  covering topics including tennis news, racquet technology and athletic equipment.