On Tuesday night, tennis legend Serena Williams not only slayed the Sports Illustrated ceremony held in her honor by wearing¬†her lingerie-inspired black dress, she slayed haters who were mad about her being named ‘”Sportsperson of the Year.”

Several publications highlighted the comments and affectations of disgruntled fans who were concerned Williams had stolen the title from a racehorse named American Pharaoh. Williams made light of those criticisms saying “I lived through tragedies and controversies and horses.” The audience erupted in laughter.

She went on to explain that her experiences in the sports world have been filled with obstacles and detractors. But, she was able to overcome all of that to become the athlete she is today.

“I’ve had people put me down because I didn’t look like them. I look stronger. I’ve had people look past me because of the color of my skin. I’ve had people overlook me because I was a woman. I had critics say I will never win another Grand Slam when I was only at number seven and now here I stand today, with 21 Grand Slam titles, and I’m still going.”

Watch the full speech below:

Photo credit: Screenshot from YouTube video from Sports Illustrated (above)