Serena Williams' New UNICEF Ambassador Position Was Made for the Diva

serena williamsFrom various recurring injuries to her diva meltdown at the U.S. Open earlier this month, Serena Williams hasn't had the smoothest time lately. Her publicist is probably slapping herself on the forehead a lot, saying, "What am I going to do with you, woman?" But now it seems like Williams has scored the perfect damage control ... in the form of a big, shiny new title as UNICEF International Goodwill Ambassador. Whoa, sounds important and like a huge honor!

UNICEF explained in a press release why they picked the tennis icon: "Serena Williams isn't just a world tennis champion, she is a champion for children -- and a passionate advocate for providing every child with a quality education. We are delighted that Serena is joining us as UNICEF's newest Goodwill Ambassador and look forward to working together to win for children."

Sounds good to me, but there are naysayers out there who don't think Serena deserves it.

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They say her behavior on the court -- the recent debacle wherein she lost her temper and called a judge "a hater ... unattractive on the inside," as well as her expletive-filled freak-out after a foot fault in the '09 U.S. Open -- reflects so poorly on her that she couldn't possibly live up to the role model ideal UNICEF makes her out to be.

But I disagree.

As evidenced by her recent appearance with Michelle Obama to promote the "Let's Move" campaign, I think Serena really does have her heart in the right place when it comes to kids and education. And although her recent freak-outs shouldn't exactly earn her brownie points, I kinda felt like everyone made a much bigger deal out of them than necessary. Athletes get fired up in the heat of the moment, and squawking at a ref is nothing in most sports -- especially MEN'S sports. But when a woman gets fired up, oh no, all hell breaks loose!

In the end, I don't think Serena should be continually punished or prevented from using her celebrity for good. This UNICEF title is just what she needs right now, and I have a feeling that in the position, she will shine.

Do you think Serena deserves to be UNICEF International Goodwill Ambassador?

 

Image via Rob Young/Flickr

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