Serena Williams is one of the most decorated tennis players in the world. She’s won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, 14 doubles titles with her sister, Venus, four Olympic gold medals…the list could go on and on. She’s also an outspoken advocate for equal pay, a successful businesswoman, a mom, a wife, and a trusted friend.
But one honor has eluded her until now: the cover of the Wheaties box, a.k.a. the “breakfast of champions.” It seems unfathomable that it’s taken this long to bestow said honor on one of the greatest athletes in tennis—or any sport, for that matter—but that’s finally been rectified. Williams made the announcement today, June 25 on her Instagram. “In 2001, Wheaties paid homage to a true champion and an icon by putting her on the cover of a Wheaties Box. Althea Gibson was the FIRST Black Woman tennis player to be on the box,” she wrote. “Today, I am honored to be the second.”
The cereal brand dedicated their entire grid to the announcement simply stating, “She’s a champion.” On Twitter, the brand wrote, “She’s an athlete. She’s a fashion designer. She’s a philanthropist. She’s a mother. @serenawilliams is a Champion. #ShesAChampion.” The tradition of putting athletes on the cover of the cereal box started back in 1934 with baseball star Lou Gehrig and over the years has included Jesse Owens (the first black man on the box), Michael Jordan (who has appeared a record 18 times), Mary Lou Retton, Lindsay Vonn, and Michael Phelps.
Commenters expressed their excitement—as well as their disbelief that this hasn’t happened already. “Long over due, congratulations! ! And there needs to be a third, fourth and fifth……plus,” one user wrote. “I can’t believe it took Wheaties this long to put your image on the box. Regardless, it’s great,” another fan commented.
Twitter users were thrilled by the news too, offering congratulations to Williams. “I’m going to buy a box but never going to open it,” one fan tweeted. Another called her “an inspiration in every aspect of your life!”
No comment yet from Williams’ husband, Alexis Ohainian, or daughter, Olympia, on their Instagram accounts—but we’re sure they’re enormously proud.