Serena Williams received a devastating blow minutes before losing to Johanna Konta in the opening round of the Silicon Valley Classic. The tennis legend told Time Magazine that she learned that her sister’s murderer had been let out on parole when she checked her phone 10 minutes before the match. Robert Maxfield only served 12 years out of his 15-year sentence for the murder of Yetunde Price.
Williams revealed that when she checked Instagram, she discovered that her sister’s killer was released early. It seems as if she lost her focus because ESPN reports that immediately after her loss, the super athlete is quoted as saying “I have so many things on my mind; I don’t have time to be shocked about a loss that clearly wasn’t at my best right now.” She repeated the same sentiment in her interview with Time.
“I couldn’t shake it out of my mind.”
Serena and Venus’ older half-sister, Yetunde Price, was killed in a drive-by shooting in Compton, California in 2013. At the time. the 31-year-old had three children: Jeffrey (11), Justus (9), and Jair (5). According to Daily Mail, Price was shot in the back of her head with an AK-47 by Robert Maxfield, a Southside Crips gang member. The registered nurse and beauty salon co-owner died instantly, while her boyfriend, Rolland Wormley, who was the intended target, remained unharmed. At that time, Wormley was believed to be a member of the Mac Mafia Crips. Maxfield entered a plea of no contest to voluntary manslaughter and was then sentenced by the Compton Superior Court.
In particular, Williams said that she keeps thinking about her sister’s children, which should come as no surprise since she is a mother now herself. Her daughter, Olympia, was born nearly a year ago in September 2017. Since her birth, Williams has been vocal about her own motherhood journey. At the time of her sister’s death, Price’s children were not even teenagers yet. After Price’s death, they were raised by Oracene Price, their maternal grandmother, and Serena and Venus’ mother.
“It was hard because all I think about is her kids, and what they meant to me. And how much I love them.”
Williams is also conflicted because Maxfield was released on early parole, while her sister will never be afforded the opportunity to come back again. She also talked about Biblical forgiveness.
“No matter what, my sister is not coming back for good behavior.”
“It’s unfair that she’ll never have an opportunity to hug me. But also … The Bible talks about forgiveness.”
Serena and Venus Williams founded the Yetunde Price Resource Center in 2016. The community center aims to come to the aid of people who are impacted by violence and trauma.