Crip Walk Dance: Was Serena Williams Just Having Fun Or Did Olympic Celebration Go Too Far?

A crip walk dance celebration has gotten some people mad at Serena Williams for what they believe is her nod to a violent gang culture.

After defeating Maria Sharapova for the gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics, Williams unleashed a crip walk, a short dance that involved a few quick steps side to side, Vibe reported. Now the seemingly innocent dance has gotten her in trouble as critics point out that the dance has a much different meaning in the gang culture from which it originated.

The dance came from a gang battle between gangs the Bloods and Crips, USA Today noted, but since then it has gone mainstream. The origins are said to have been in gang-heavy Compton, Calif., which just so happens to be where Venus and Serena Williams grew up.

Williams didn’t see what all the fuss was about concerning her crip walk, telling reporters: “It was just me. I love to dance. I didn’t know what else to do. I was so happy, and next thing I know I started dancing and moving. I didn’t plan it. It just happened.”

“There is a name. But I don’t know if I – it’s inappropriate,” she said. “It’s just a dance we do in California.”

The video of Williams’ crip walk went viral quickly, spreading across the internet and spawning parody videos, gifs and even outrage in some corners of the internet, Vibe noted. Bill Plaschke, a sports columnist with the Los Angeles Times, said the crip walk dance showed just how out of touch Williams has become.

She’s not alone in her crip walking. Other celebrities, from Justin Timberlake to baketball player Brent Barry, have been known to unleash the dance. It is also a mainstay among West Coast rappers like Snoop Dogg Lion and Ice Cube.

Serena Williams held back on the crip walk dance after winning the doubles title with her sister Venus.