Stephen A. Smith: Serena Williams is the GOAT: She shattered the damn competition

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Stephen A. Smith: Serena Williams is the GOAT: She shattered the damn competition

ESPN sports analyst Stephen A. Smith thinks Serena Williams is undoubtedly the greatest female tennis player of all time and also one of the greatest athletes in all sports history. On Wednesday's First Take. Smith and Chris "Mad Dog" Russo debated whether Williams deserved to be considered as the greatest of all time.

Russo argued that Martina Navratilova faced a far tougher competition and that's she is the one that should be considered as the greatest of all time. Reacting to Russo's argument that Williams didn't have a competition, Smith said she didn't have one because she was so dominant - not because the others weren't great.

Last week, Russo picked Navratilova ahead of Williams in the GOAT debate. This Wednesday, Smith started off by saying he wanted to hear Russo first before giving his opinion on the topic. "So Serena is one of the women who won a championships pregnant," Smith said on ESPN's First Take.

"When you talk about the competition, it's because she shattered the damn competition."

Smith: Williams is on the Mount Rushmore of Sports

"When you take that into consideration, the level of dominance, that fact that there was no peer, that there really was no equal, that it was her head and shoulders above the crowd," Smith added.

"Then you take into the account some of the adversity that hits. Not throwing shade on Martina Navratilova, What she had to deal with. We understand her trials and tribulations. America wasn't as receptive, as the world wasn't receptive to gays and lesbians.

The nonsense they had to deal with and endure was unquestionably unfair and very difficult for them to deal with. Nobody's denying that. But when I think about Serena Williams, I'd compare her to Muhammad Ali, compared to what he had to deal with.

But being an African-American young lady from Compton, LA, and having to deal with some the nonsense - the way she looked, the way she dressed, the way she talked, the way she acted, scrutinized in every damn turn in a sports as rigid as tennis, which is only comparable to golf in terms of the rigiditiesity - rigidity that exists in this sport.

All of those things have I have taken into consideration, the fact that she won in spite of that stuff, hey, man, for me, Serena Williams warrants consideration on the Mount Rushmore of Sports."