Serena to receive honor at NAACP Image Awards

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LOS ANGELES — Serena Williams will be honored at the NAACP Image Awards this weekend for her tennis achievements, business success and efforts to uplift the community.

The NAACP announced Thursday that Williams will receive the Jackie Robinson Sports Award during the ceremony, which will air live Saturday on BET. The award recognizes individuals in sports for high achievement in athletics along with their pursuit of social justice, civil rights and community involvement.

Previous honorees include Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Magic Johnson, Wilma Rudolph and the Harlem Globetrotters.

“From her record-breaking wins on the tennis court to her business acumen to her philanthropic endeavors, she has set the bar for athletes everywhere,” said Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP. He said Williams is the “quintessential example of Black excellence.”

Williams is regarded as one of the sport’s greatest athletes of all time. She holds 23 Grand Slam singles titles and has won Wimbledon seven times as a singles competitor.

Outside of tennis, Williams was an executive producer on the Oscar-nominated film “King Richard,” a biopic based on her family. She has launched a venture capital firm and a fashion brand that focuses on female empowerment. She recently published a children’s book, “The Adventures of Qai Qai,” and is part of a team launching a line of cruelty-free topical pain relief and daily muscle care solutions touted by the company as “designed to reimagine recovery.”

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