Tennis star Sloane Stephens is speaking out about the racist abuse being endured by athletes.

In an interview following her first round French Open win against Karolina Pliskova, Stephens went into detail about the career-long racism she has experienced.

“Yes, it’s obviously been a problem my entire career,” Stephens said. “It has never stopped. If anything, it’s only gotten worse.”

An Unbearable Norm

Racist attacks on social media and racist behavior from the audience at sports venues is a norm for Black and brown players across sports.

And in tennis alone, Black women players like Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Naomi Osaka, and Stephens have spoke out about their own experiences with racist rhetoric and threats.

Men’s tennis player Frances Tiafoe even recently told the AP that he receives death threats regularly after losing tennis matches.

“Everybody gets them after a loss,” said Tiafoe. “It’s just how society is today. I know how that affects people’s mental health. That’s very real.”

Ineffective Solutions

There are tools to help combat the racist attacks. Those include AI software French Open players can use to block racist comments on social media. However, the tools haven’t proven to be the best solutions to the issue.

“I did hear about the software. I have not used it,” Stephens said. “I have a lot of obviously key words banned on Instagram and all of these things, but that doesn’t stop someone from just typing in an asterisk or typing it in a different way, which obviously software most of the time doesn’t catch.”

Stephens added that she has, unfortunately, just had to accept that the problem will likely not get any better.

“People online have the free reign to say and do whatever they want behind fake pages, which is obviously very troublesome,” she said. “It’s something I have had to deal with my whole career and something I will continue to deal with, I’m sure. That’s that.”