Tennis legend Serena Williams believes that Hollywood star Will Smith should be forgiven for the “mistake” of slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars last year. The 41-year-old tennis legend has discussed the infamous moment when the ‘King Richard’ star hit the comedian Chris Rock after he joked about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith at the Academy Awards last year and is adamant that the actor should be given the chance to atone for his “mistake”, reports femalefirst.co.uk.
Serena, whose rise to the top of the sporting world was documented in the film, regrets how the slap overshadowed Will’s Oscar triumph and that of ‘Summer of Soul’ – which won the Best Documentary Feature award directly after the shocking incident.
She told CBS Mornings: “I thought it was such an incredible film and I feel that there was an incredible film after that with Questlove that kind of was overshadowed.
“But I also feel that I’ve been in a position where I’ve been under a lot of pressure and made a tremendous number of mistakes, and I’m the kind of person that’s just like, ‘I’ve been there. I’ve made a mistake. It’s not the end of the world.'”
Smith was banned from the Oscars for ten years as a result of the slap, but the 23-time Grand Slam winner thinks that he deserves the opportunity to redeem himself.
Serena, who announced that she was “evolving away” from tennis last year, said: “We’re all imperfect and we’re all human and let’s just be kind to each other. So, that’s often forgotten a lot.”
The sporting icon’s father Richard Williams has also hit out at the Academy for banning Will from the Oscars and other gala events for a decade and believes that the punishment is very harsh.
He said: “Just two days, that’s enough, that’s very much.”