Well, the international furor has now subsided. I’m not talking about Steve Harvey’s blunder at the 2015 Miss Universe pageant—that’ll rage for another day before the masses move on—but rather the controversy over whether Serena Williams deserved to be named Sports Illustrated‘s Sportsperson of the Year.
It’s worth noting that, since Serena’s SI victory, Andy Murray and the British Davis Cup team have won Sports Personality of the Year and Team of the Year, respectively, in Great Britain. Neither faced particular backlash in receiving those honors, as they were not pitted against a racehorse.
But back to Serena. We’re a week removed from that initial SI announcement now, so it’s high time to review the social-media kudos, starting with the Sportsperson of 2015 award ceremony itself, which featured Venus Williams‘ instant-classic, off-script introduction of her young sister as mother Oracene Price looked on with equally hilarious reactions. You know a public address has gone off the rails, in most amusing fashion, when the speaker starts talking about sisters going to Candy Land in their beds at night. (Who says the powerful Williams sisters can’t improvise?)
Venus was hardly alone, though. Serena and Venus’ older sister Isha also got in on the act:
From classy soccer star Carli Lloyd, another athlete up for the same Sportsperson of 2015 honor:
One can nearly drop the mic, though, when someone of the caliber of U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama gets involved.
Pop tarts and TV stars added to the adulation, including Zendaya, who knows a thing or two about being heckled by quasi-famous people.
Fellow athletes and sports teams piled on as well, including a few tennis icons of past and present. You had to know SWBFF Caroline Wozniacki would get a word in.
Media members also joined the conversation, as is their wont on Twitter, a platform practically tailor-made for journalists. It certainly doesn’t hurt when said media members saluting you include one Katie Couric.
Serena Williams is a person, a human being. American Pharoah is a horse. I’m not seeing what the problem is with SI’s decision
— Josh Newman (@Joshua_Newman) December 14, 2015
From Gatorade and Beats by Dre ads to Vogue and New York magazine covers, from three major singles titles to the latest SI award, 2015 truly became Serena’s oyster on the go. And what a luxury it is for tennis fans to live in that oyster.
Follow Jon on Twitter @jonscott9.