Serena Williams Gets Crowned Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year

December 14th 2015

Taylor Bell

On Monday, Sports Illustrated revealed tennis star Serena Williams as their Sportsperson of Year for 2015. And the Los Angeles Times' response to her win is receiving major backlash on social media.

Although she was ultimately given the title of Sportsperson of the Year, Williams was not the overwhelming favorite. In the magazine's online poll American Pharoah, the horse famous for winning the Triple Crown in 2015, was close to snagging the title with 47 percent of the votes, USA Today reports. The Los Angeles Times then released the above poll.

Despite the fact that American Pharoah became the first horse to win the Triple Crown in 37 years, he is an animal. For people to even suggest that Williams with all her stellar and unmatched accomplishments as an athlete, didn't truly deserve the honor but that a horse did, has many people on Twitter outraged. 

Williams, who has won 21 Grand Slam titles over the course of her career, becomes just the third woman to be individually selected to take the honor. Track star Mary Decker and tennis champion Chris Evert were recognized by the magazine in 1983 and 1976 respectively.

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"She was the most deserving person for the award," editor of the Sports Illustrated Group, Paul Fichtenbaum, told ABC News. "She had an amazing year. The way she won her events; the fact that she's done this for so many years at such a high level. She was a terrific candidate in a year of terrific candidates."

In a post on Instagram the tennis star responded.

"This year was spectacular for me," Williams said. "For Sports Illustrated to recognize my hard work, my dedication, and my sheer determination gives me hope to continue on and do better. As I always say, it takes it takes a village, it;s not just one person. This is not just an accomplishment for me, but for my whole team. I am beyond honored. I love you guys!"

This year alone Williams won five singles' titles and has a winning record of 53-3. Williams also currently ranks No.1 in the Women's Tennis Association rankings.

But in the same year that Williams has had great success she's also had to overcome some obstacles, battling racism and body-shaming. Earlier this year Williams' physique drew a lot of attention when a New York Times article made Williams' more muscular body a point of discussion. And although Williams ranks No.1 in the world of women's tennis, she continues to receive a lot less money in endorsement deals than her white rivals, such as Maria Sharapova.

Related: This Tweet Perfectly Summarizes the Problem With Talking About Serena Williams's Body