Australian Athletes Don Blackface As Williams Sisters
Australia’s Penguin Football Club issued an apology on Wednesday following the release of a photo of three players wearing blackface and tennis skirts in an effort to imitate Venus and Serena Williams. The picture obviously ignited outrage when it surfaced on the internet, and the football club immediately made efforts to distance themselves from the incident and the players involved.
The Tasmanian club posted a statement to its website saying, “The Penguin Football Club were not aware that three of our players intended to dress in this manner and the incident did not happen at our facilities.” They continued, “It was not their intention to upset anyone and all they meant to do was dress as one of their sporting idols. Their actions were never intended to be racist in any way.”
The photo in question features Mitch Stanley and Matt Chamberlain as the Williams sisters and Beau Grundy as Aliir, and was discovered after it was uploaded to a public social media page, according to People. The terrible image was posted for Mad Monday — widely known as the end-of-season celebration for professional football stars on the continent— the image ultimately ended up being deleted.
“Just when you thought we could relax because Australia at least hasn’t had a blackface situation for a while…. along comes Tasmania to save the day,” radio host Michelle Hunder tweeted on Tuesday.
The Penguin Football Club noted that the individuals involved have been reprimanded and “will be given support to make sure they understand that their behavior was racist and hurtful and that it will not happen again.”
“The players concerned have acknowledged that what they did was completely and utterly unacceptable and would like to apologize unreservedly for their lack of judgment… Sometimes players make mistakes and for that we apologize,” the statement concluded.
Another day, another side eye. SMH.