In a powerful new ad from Gatorade that was released on Monday, tennis powerhouse Serena Williams has a message for her baby girl: Keep playing.
The ad, which is part of Gatorade's #SistersInSweat campaign, features a voiceover from Williams in a spoken open letter encouraging her daughter to play sports growing up, even if she isn't great at them. Because, the ad suggests, team sports are more than about being the best. They're about building bonds and working together to achieve goals. And they have great implications for those who go on to pursue other things, which is most people.
"I won't mind if you play tennis badly," Williams says, as we see her cradling her infant daughter. "I won't mind if you choose to never pick up a racket."
"But I beg you: In this game of life, keep playing. No matter what," she implores.
She lays out the benefits of sports as we see moving shots of girls playing soccer, basketball, volleyball, and running track. Because your teammates are your "allies," she says, "whether your bond is by blood or by ball, whether she shares the color of your skin or the color of your jersey."
"You'll find your sisters in sweat," she promises.
As a hummed version of Alicia Keys' "Girl on Fire" plays in the background, we see childhood photos of notable women who aren't necessarily known for their past athletic achievements, but likely credit some of their success to their sports backgrounds, like actress Allison Williams, and YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki.
"So keep playing, my girl," Williams says to her daughter. "Keep playing."
The ad ends with two powerful sentences: "The lessons learned in sports will help you win beyond the field. Keep playing."
Williams shared the inspirational ad on Twitter, saying: "There are so many reasons to quit, but even more to keep playing. Even if you don’t go pro, sports can teach you so much. So keep playing."
There are so many reasons to quit, but even more to keep playing. Even if you don’t go pro, sports can teach you so… https://t.co/sqYri6ymO3— Serena Williams (@Serena Williams) 1511187129.0
And for many on Twitter, it struck an emotional chord:
@serenawilliams @Gatorade Yep ... this is me right about now. Just beautiful... thank you for being a role model fo… https://t.co/4dmCTJ5MLD— talldknluvly (@talldknluvly) 1511188974.0
It’s too early for me to be in my feelings. This is a wonderful commercial. https://t.co/hEKHCDqf72— Jemele Hill (@Jemele Hill) 1511188260.0
@serenawilliams @Gatorade This is giving me so much FEELS Adore you Queen 👸🏽 https://t.co/GBQCgCdj5P— Sophia reid (@Sophia reid) 1511195595.0
And the message definitely resonated:
@_shireenahmed_ @serenawilliams @Gatorade Beautiful! Encouraging our children to be proactive players in life. Smar… https://t.co/tKeTwXbXyl— Marianne Tapia (@Marianne Tapia) 1511217971.0
I am a firm advocate for getting kids involved in sports. Cuts down on selfishness and whining and teaches that eve… https://t.co/QyH9He5chv— 👑 Genghis Kellz (@👑 Genghis Kellz) 1511190072.0
@serenawilliams @Gatorade This is perfect. Oh wow. Let’s keep working to make sports accessible to ALL girls, regar… https://t.co/5g10saljps— ♈️☀️Norman Lear's "Guest"🌙♌️ (@♈️☀️Norman Lear's "Guest"🌙♌️) 1511197205.0
@serenawilliams @Gatorade This is absolutely beautiful message to all the young girls, Thank You! Congratulations… https://t.co/7daoERv3qs— Towanna Rimpson (@Towanna Rimpson) 1511187714.0
Kudos to Gatorade and Serena Williams for empowering the next generation of strong women:
Every bit of this. Thank you, Serena! https://t.co/FueN4V1IAE— Andrea Adelson (@Andrea Adelson) 1511191759.0
@callme_Jason @serenawilliams @Gatorade i just love her <3— Braidskillers (@Braidskillers) 1511200742.0
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