Serena Williams Encourages Girls to “Dream Crazier”

Nike Partners with Tennis Superstar to Launch Powerful Video about Equality

Elizabeth Ezekiel

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Nearly six months after Nike released their groundbreaking campaign in partnership with NFL player Colin Kaepernick, the infamous sporting brand released a 90 second video on February 24, 2019, encouraging female athletes of all levels to push societal limits and “Dream Crazier”. The video is narrated by Serena Williams, a 23 time Grand Slam tennis champion, and was launched to the world during the Academy Awards to an audience of millions of people – including young women and people of color who look towards Serena as a symbol of hope and determination. The video tackles the ideas of female oppression in the world of athletics, which is predominantly controlled by men, and mirrors the style of the “Dream Crazy” campaign that was launched just six months prior.

In September of 2018 Nike launched a two minute video, narrated by former NFL player Colin Kaepernick, that forever marked the company as a supporter of the movements against police brutality, social inequality, and racism. Nike decided to partner with Kaepernick after he left the 49ers, a west coast football team, and was unable to be signed with another team due to his political views and decision to kneel during the national anthem before games – a controversial stance that upset millions of people, predominately white and conservative, who support the sport. At the end of the video, Kaepernick encourages people to, “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.”

The 2018 Nike video sparked a revolutionary age of popular companies becoming more involved in current politics. For example, at the start of 2019 the common beauty brand, Gillette, posted a video addressing the idea of toxic masculinity in our society. The video brought about immense support but also numerous internet trolls that were personally offended by the company’s stance. NIke followed this campaign by launching a sequel video to their Colin Kaepernick “Dream Crazy” project, narrated by Serena Williams and addressing the hardships female athletes face due to the overly critical society.

The “Dream Crazier” video shines light on the difficult nature of being a serious female athlete in today’s society. The 90 second campaign features clips of world-renowned and small-scale female athletes participating in events and being severely ridiculed for not behaving as a ​proper woman.​ Williams 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’re too good, there’s something wrong with us. And if we get angry, we’re hysterical, irrational, or just plain crazy.”

The video ends with Williams embracing herself and taking pride in her achievements, and she tells her audience​ to, “Show them what crazy can do.” The video blew up on various social media platforms and was widely received by women all around the world who feel oppressed by the male dominant society. People are yet again both praising Nike and criticizing the sportswear company for their polarizing stance, but it does not appear as though the brand has any plans on becoming more reserved and pulling back from the front of the political world.

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Serena Williams Encourages Girls to “Dream Crazier”