Tennis star Serena Williams’s controversial loss in the U.S. Open after a chair umpire docked her for an outburst, prompted a wave of conversations about double standards applied to women and African Americans.
And oddly, it also prompted reflection from a onetime rising star in D.C. politics whose career was undone by a bank fraud conviction six years ago.
Former D.C. Council chairman Kwame Brown (D), who resigned in 2012 after he was accused of falsifying records in applications to obtain a home loan and buy a $50,000 powerboat, on Sunday compared the federal investigation of him to the technical penalties levied against the tennis legend.
“Unless you have been in Serena Williams shoes, which I have where the system is always trying to find any/every way 2 break you down. Even if it means they charge you for something they have never charged anyone else with, just because they can,” Brown posted on Facebook on Sunday afternoon.
“She never allowed the fact that she has been discriminated against for almost her entire career make her remain silent when she has the stage to make a difference for those today and tomorrow. What she has done is just that,” he posted.
Brown seems to be comparing how the chair umpire enforced violations against Williams for breaking a racket and “verbal abuse” to how federal prosecutors charged him for falsifying loan documents.
Following months of investigation into his personal and campaign finances, federal authorities in 2012 accused Brown of inflating his income on applications for a home loan and to buy a boat he called “Bullet Proof.”
Brown pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a day in jail and six months of home detention.
He has largely stayed out of the public eye since then, and his comments Sunday appear to be among the first to publicly reflect on his criminal record.
Brown didn’t immediately return requests for comment.
He did, however, expand on his thoughts via Twitter in response to a reporter who noted he resigned over a bank fraud scandal.
“Yes, I lied on a loan application that was paid off completely 5yrs prior to being charged. While others self certified their loans and left bank holding the bag,” Brown tweeted. “But of course you will refuse 2 mention the great things I have done for this city you love so dearly.”
That’s an apparent change in tone from the remorse he expressed at his sentencing hearing where he told a federal judge, “I am not a victim. It was stupid. I was wrong.”