Controversy erupts over article on Serena Williams' marriage

An American writer has taken the heat off Carlos Ramos and Mark Knight with a controversial article questioning Serena Williams’ marriage.

Serena supporters have found a new punching bag in the former of Slate journalist Heather Schwedel.

Schwedel has caused a major stir with an article around Serena and Alexis Ohanian’s public displays of affection, and most notably their use of social media.

The female writer examines how Ohanian regularly flouts his grand gestures for Serena on Twitter and Instagram.

One day before Serena’s controversial meltdown in the US Open final, Ohanian posted a tribute video on Twitter, writing: “Help me make sure she sees it!”


Earlier this year he erected a series of billboards near where she was playing in California to welcome her back to the WTA tour after the birth of their first child.


He’s also flown her to Italy simply because she felt like Italian food.


Many fans saw the gestures as Ohanian simply showing his love for Serena to everyone who wanted to see it.

But it’s led Schwedel to ask: “What exactly are they trying to prove?”

“Williams has more money than she could ever need, and Ohanian has millions of his own,” Schwedel wrote.

“So why are they so intent on packaging their family life into social media — friendly morsels of content?

Serena Williams and husband Alexis Ohanian arrive for the wedding ceremony of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. (Photo by Ian West / POOL / AFP)

“It’s true that the work of building a brand is never done — maybe the more perfect Williams’ personal life looks, the more endorsement dollars she’ll be able to get Nike to cough up.

“Maybe Williams and Ohanian are hoping to burnish their public personas in preparation for whatever comes after tennis.

“Or maybe it’s cynical to consider the financial upsides, and this is just what it looks like to fall in love and start a family with a fellow cajillionaire who just so happens to have built his fortune on the social internet. What makes this question so endlessly compelling is that we’ll never really know.”

The bizarre article did not go down well with fans, especially at a time when Serena has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.










In the face of criticism, Schwedel took to Twitter to defend herself.

“To add context, this piece was for a package analyzing a bunch of different celebrity relationships. I’ve found some of the criticism it’s gotten useful and persuasive (some less so) and appreciate it,” she wrote.


But that also didn’t go down well.






Ohanian has spent the last two weeks defending Serena on social media.

He slammed the Herald Sun’s ‘racist’ cartoon depiction of his wife, called out a ‘misleading’ article about sexism in tennis, and also dragged Roger Federer into the debate.