An Australian football club has issued a grovelling apology after its players dressed in blackface as Serena and Venus Williams

Alan Dawson
Venus Williams and Serena Williams

Getty Images


  • An Australian football club has issued a grovelling apology after three of its players were photographed in blackface.
  • The athletes were dressed as tennis champions Serena Williams and Venus Williams and Kenyan-born football player Aliir Aliir.
  • The incident follows the controversy surrounding Australian newspaper The Herald Sun's mean-spirited crusade against Serena Williams after the American's outburst at the 2018 US Open final.

Three football players have been photographed dressed in blackface as tennis champions Serena Williams and Venus Williams.

The athletes play for the Australian Rules Football team Penguin Football Club, a sports team based in Tasmania, according to The Washington Post.

They wore outfits and makeup to dress up as the Williams sisters and Kenyan-born football player Aliir Aliir as part of "Mad Monday" — an end-of-season celebration.

A photo of the "costumes" was posted on social media and, though it has been removed from Facebook, it has been shared by a number of Twitter users.

Tweet Embed:
//twitter.com/mims/statuses/1042260665681899521?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
Some Australians still have no clue what is considered racist. This Mad Monday "costume" is clearly racist. And I'm a person who is fed up with today's over-the-top political correctness. pic.twitter.com/oWPR0WjeUx

Penguin Football Club has since issued a grovelling apology.

"It was not their intention to upset anyone and all they meant to do was dress as one of their sporting idols," the club said, according to Australian ABC News.

"Their actions were never intended to be racist in any way. Those concerned have been reprimanded and will be given support to make sure they understand that their behaviour was racist and hurtful and that it will not happen again.

The club went on: "The players concerned have acknowledged that what they did was completely and utterly unacceptable and would like to apologise unreservedly for their lack of judgement."

The incident follows the controversy over Australian newspaper The Herald Sun's mean-spirited crusade against Serena Williams following the American's outburst at the 2018 US Open final.

The Herald Sun published a vulgar cartoon which grossly exaggerated her weight, lips, and nose and depicted her as an angry baby. The paper has also attempted to discredit her character by calling her "no feminist hero" and a "fraud."

The newspaper's editor defended the cartoon, and the artist himself countered global condemnation by claiming "the world has just gone crazy."

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