Serena Williams has opened up about the devastating murder of her sister, Yetunde Price, People shared. The tennis champion sat down with 12-year-old interviewer Naomi Wadler for her Ellen DeGeneres-backed web series, DiversiTea, and shared how the untimely loss of her sister has impacted her views on gun violence in America. Williams also explained how she learned to move forward, despite losing someone she was so close to.
Price was murdered in 2003 while riding as a passenger in a vehicle driven by her then-partner, Rolland Wormley. The elder sister to tennis pros Serena and Venus Williams was driving in the car with Wormley when shots were fired at them — seemingly from nowhere — nearly two miles from the very tennis courts that her two sisters had learned to play tennis, People detailed.
Though the motive for the shooting was unclear at the time, with reports suggesting that it may have been tied to gang violence or the fact that the duo had been in the wrong place at the wrong time — driving by a drug house, caught in the line of fire not meant for them — a suspect named Robert Edward Maxfield was eventually arrested. Maxfield was later revealed to be a member of the Southside Crips gang. Another suspect had been identified earlier, but was not named by People.
“Yetunde and I were so close; she changed my diapers. But I finally came to an acceptance of things,” Williams shared.
Since then, Serena Williams has become an advocate for victims — and the families of victims — of gun violence. Per a separate report from People, Serena donated some of her daughter’s clothing to auction in order to raise funds for a foundation she created in her sister’s name. She sold the clothing on the popular used-attire website Poshmark, and forwarded the proceeds to the Yetunde Price Resource Foundation, which offers “trauma-informed programs that promote individual and community-wide healing and resiliency.”
Williams has been outspoken about how gun violence affects American families. While conversations surrounding how to lessen the kind of devastating losses like the one she and her family have faced may be difficult, she feels that they are necessary in order to spur change.
“I think we need to get comfortable with having uncomfortable conversations. Situations are never really gonna get better if you always avoid it, you have to take it head-on,” Williams shared.
She also said that people are talking about gun violence — and gun restriction laws — because said violence has been more widespread recently. However, she reminded her audience that these types of crimes have been impacting communities for years.