CLAIM: In a Facebook post, tennis star Serena Williams said she was sick of COVID-19, “black vs. white,” “gay vs. straight” and “Democrats vs. Republicans,” and that people should “stop thrusting your beliefs on others.”

Not Real News

FILE - In this Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020 file photo, Serena Williams returns a shot against Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova during a Fed Cup qualifying tennis match in Everett, Wash. On Friday, June 26, 2020, The Associated Press reported on stories circulating online incorrectly asserting in a Facebook post, tennis star Serena Williams said that she was sick of COVID-19, black versus white, gay versus straight and Democrats versus Republicans, and that people should “stop thrusting your beliefs on others.” This is a case of mistaken identity. Another Facebook user named Serena Williams shared the comments. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

THE FACTS: This is a case of mistaken identity. Another Facebook user named Serena Williams shared the comments.

Screenshots of her post are being shared on social media, mistaking her for the tennis athlete. In late June, Facebook and Twitter users began sharing a screenshot of the Facebook post, which showed the name Serena Williams next to a message about COVID-19 and political tension. “I’m sick of COVID-19. I’m sick of black vs. white. I’m sick of Democrats vs. Republicans. I’m sick of gay vs. straight. I’m sick of Christians vs atheists. I’m REALLY sick of the media. I’m sick of no one being allowed to think what they want & feel what they do without offending someone,” said the message, which went on for three more paragraphs, encouraging people to be tolerant of others’ opinions. ”If you can’t handle the fact that you may have a friend that has opposing views as you then you are not any better than the bigots and the racists. I don’t have to agree with everything you believe to be a decent human being & your friend,” it concluded, with a heart emoji at the end.

But the actual Facebook user who posted the opinions on Sunday, June 14, is not the athlete Serena Williams — they just happen to share the same name. “Nope, not THAT Serena Williams,” the user’s Facebook bio reads. The message in the post appears to have originated with a different Facebook user who shared the same words on Facebook on June 2. The tennis star Serena Williams has been outspoken on social media about racial injustice, denouncing racism on Twitter and hosting discussions on the topic on her Instagram page. Williams’ publicist confirmed the tennis star didn’t make the post.

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