Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian Discuss His Decision to Leave Reddit
"I wanted to put as much weight behind the gesture as I could because I felt I owed it to you and I owed it to her."
Last week, Alexis Ohanian co-founder of Reddit and husband to Serena Williams, announced his decision to step down from his board position at the company. His initial announcement stated that this was in response to the Black Lives Matter movement. "I have resigned as a member of the Reddit board, I have urged them to fill my seat with a black candidate," he said. He also announced that he will be donating to $1 million to Colin Kaepernick's Know Your Rights initiative.
In an Instagram video posted Sunday, Ohanian and Williams sat down to discuss the decision. “This was not an easy decision at all,” Ohanian said. He elaborated that it was made “upon reflecting on the state of where our country is right now."
He continued, “I thought about what I could do beyond a social media post, beyond a donation. We need diversity at the highest levels of business now more than ever."
While asking her husband about the decision, Williams clarified that she had nothing to do with it. “A lot of people might think I told you to do something, or I forced you, ” she said. “He doesn’t listen to me, ever.”
In response, he said, “I thought about what those dollars could do for a community that has clearly suffered for far too long, and that I with my power and my influence and my privilege want to do something meaningful to start to show a change. To make a better world for Olympia."
Talking more about his daughter he said, "I wanted to put as much weight behind the gesture as I could because I felt I owed it to you and I owed it to her." He continued, "One of the things that really broke me at some point in the last week, I was looking at Olympia, she’s 2½ now, and she is such a pure, just blank canvas. She only knows love. There is not an ounce of hate in her body.”
Ohanian went on to discuss his anger, asking his wife, “I’m sitting here like if I’m this pissed off just now, how have you been able to endure your entire life? How have generations of black Americans been able to endure your entire life? Because If I’m just getting this mad right now, I wouldn’t be able to function.”
Watch the entire exchange below.