On Sept. 8, 2018, Naomi Osaka became the first Japanese player ever to win a Grand Slam title after defeating her childhood idol, Serena Williams. Sadly, what should’ve been one of the greatest days of Osaka’s life was marred by poor officiating and controversy.
Now, over a year later, one of the infamous mementos from that day—a racket that Williams destroyed in frustration that has since gone on to symbolize how black women are far too often maligned, misunderstood, and mistreated—was sold at auction for a cool $20,910, according to CNN.
It was one of many pieces of sports history up for grabs courtesy of Goldin Auctions. Tennis Now reports that other items included sprinter Jesse Owens’ 1936 Olympic gold medal, a Rawlings baseball bat used by MLB legend Reggie Jackson to hit his 501st and 502nd career home runs, and an autographed LeBron James rookie card.
“This was truly a remarkable event in both the wide assortment of items and the record prices realized for so many of them,” Ken Goldin, founder of Goldin Auctions, told CNN.
After damaging the racket, Williams gave it to a ball boy named Justin Arrington-Holmes who sold it to Brigandi Coins and Collectibles, a Manhattan-based sports memorabilia dealer, for $500 earlier this year.
It’s safe to assume Brigandi’s made their money back.
“Looking back I wish I’d had someone help me with the process,” Arrington-Holmes told the New York Times last month. “I was not familiar with how any of this works. I just wanted to get rid of it.”
Considering how much the racket just sold for, that probably would’ve been a good idea. But context is also important and it’s difficult not to feel some kind of way about a black woman’s plight being monetized.