Here's What LeBron James Had To Say About Serena Williams And The US Open

"I feel that struggle."

NBA star LeBron James has weighed in on the conversation surrounding tennis player Serena Williams' loss at the US Open earlier this month. In the new issue of The Hollywood Reporter, James addresses the situation, and points to the larger issues he believes are at hand, such as racism and sexism.

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"What we all have to understand is what she is fighting for is bigger than just that match," James told the magazine. "She is fighting for equality — always having to win more, more, more, just to feel equal. Being an African-American woman playing in a predominantly white sport, she's dealing with so much more. I have no idea what was going on in her head, but I feel that struggle."

Many fans and fellow players have defended Williams since she was penalized a game and fined $17,000 after arguing with chair umpire Carlos Ramos, who accused her of receiving coaching. Some pointed to a double standard which overlooks similar behavior from male players.

"I'm here fighting for women's rights and for women's equality and for all kinds of stuff," Williams said at a press conference after the incident. "For me to say 'thief' and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark. He's never taken a game from a man because they said 'thief.' "

James told THR that having a daughter (3-year-old Zhuri) has affected the way he looks at these issues. When asked about the possibility of a female coach in the NBA, he said, "I don't see why not." He added that Becky Hammon, who is an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs, is "paving the way right now."

Williams herself, like James, has spoken her mind about issues in sports other than her own. She recently praised NFL free agents Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid, saying "every athlete, every human, and definitely every African-American should be completely grateful and honored" by their activism.

James also weighed in on the issue of NFL protests, explaining to THR how the league is different from the NBA: "It's the owners saying, 'Do what we tell you to do, this is our league, our team. And you do what the hell I tell you to do.' "

(H/T: People)

Cover image: Michael Loccisano / Getty Images

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