Tennis great Serena Williams has been gifted a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT by her husband, Reddit-owner Alexis Ohanian who selected Bored Ape #5797. Ohanian paid 117 ETH for the pink ape, currently valued at $324.5K.
In response to Williams’ post, Ohanian wrote, “First I get you the Serena Punk, now I get the pink ape you wanted… you realize I’m only gifting you NFTs from now on right?”
Williams was recently appointed a board member of NFT platform Sorare. Focused on expanding its reach into sports, the platform brought on Williams to provide guidance on women’s sports as well as instituting inclusive practices.
Fan reaction on Twitter was mixed with many expressing dismay the tennis GOAT had become a member of Yuga Labs’ BAYC, whose art is viewed by some as controversial. In addition to ongoing issues many have with the legitimacy of NFTs as an art form, part of the contention over BAYC was spurred by artist Ryder Ripps, who claimed the art makes references to symbols of the Nazi movement.
Yuga Labs hasn’t officially responded to the claim, but in early January the company took to Twitter where it provided the roots of company name, the inspiration for the art and the founders bios, none of which were connected with the Nazi movement.