Serena Williams' powerful Nike ad urges female athletes to show what 'crazy' women can do 2 months ago

Serena Williams' powerful Nike ad urges female athletes to show what 'crazy' women can do

"If they want to call you crazy, fine. Show them what crazy can do."

A new powerful advert for Nike has encouraged female athletes to show their critics exactly what a so-called "crazy" woman can do.

The ad, which was broadcast for the first time during last night's Oscars, features incredible and iconic athletes such as Serena Williams, Simone Biles, Chloe Kim, and the first woman to run the Boston Marathon, Katherine Switzer.

Williams addresses the double standards that women in sport are consistently objected to.

The ways they are spoken to, and about, are often so far removed from the ways in which male athletes are talked about, the celebration of their talents regularly overlooked because they are seemingly too "angry", too "crazy," or too "emotional"

“If we show emotion, we’re called dramatic," narrates Williams in the ad.

"If we want to play against men, we’re nuts. And if we dream of equal opportunity, we’re delusional."

“When we stand for something, we’re unhinged. When we’re too good, there’s something wrong with us. And if we get angry, we’re hysterical, irrational, or just being crazy."

But a woman running a marathon was crazy. A woman boxing was crazy. A woman dunking, coaching an NBA team, competing in hijab, or winning 23 Grand Slams, having a baby and then coming back for more?

"Crazy, crazy, crazy, and crazy."

The ad finishes with Williams encouraging women to reappropriate what it means to be spoken about in such a way.

"If they want to call you crazy, fine," she says. "Show them what crazy can do."

At the time of writing the ad has already received over 3,000,000 views on Nike's official channel.

Powerful is an understatement.

20x20 is an ambitious two-year long initiative to better promote and champion women in sport.

With the tagline of "if she can't see it, she can't be it," the 20x20 movement has three targets to reach by 2020:

  • 20 percent more media coverage of women in sport
  • 20 percent more female participation
  • 20 percent more attendance at women’s competitions and events

And at Maximum Media, we're proud that Her and SportsJOE is backing the 20x20 movement as official digital media partners.