I am not one to talk about sports, because I do not really care for sports. However, I do care and support black athletes who go above and beyond in the sport they play. Along with being the best comes great ridicule and when you’re black it is often the color of your skin instead of your abilities as an athlete being judged.
This past weekend, Serena Williams played against Naomi Osaka in the US Open. Naomi Osaka won and we congratulate her, but if you missed the game we’ll fill you in, Serena got penalized for ‘illegal coaching’… and to clear up and defend herself she spoke to the umpire, “I don’t cheat to win, I’d rather lose,” were her words and she meant every single one of them.
Let’s be honest, for being one of the best players in the world Serena is always being drug tested, always being attacked by the media and yet she always answers gracefully. But the day she decides to defend herself and say what is on her mind she gets more than just ridiculed. Serena’s reaction to being accused of cheating was normal, just like anyone else who has worked hard their entire lives, who plays clean who does everything by the book to have your character attacked is more than disheartening it’s offensive and disrespectful.
Again we do congratulate Naomi Osaka on her first Grand Slam Singles title win, but this article is to comment on the way Serena Williams has been depicted in the media recently. Earlier today a cartoon spoof published in The Herald Sun, an Australian newspaper, portrayed Serena Williams as a gigantic baby ape throwing a tantrum. When it comes to racism and ignorance you all know who I am, so you know I must comment. This cartoon spoof published on The Herald Sun shows just how ignorantly racist the people who own and run the publication is. And let’s talk about when, where and how y’all had me ready to fly to Australia and drag y’all for filth. Let’s point out the subtle things that you thought no one would notice, like the fact that Naomi is white with blonde hair. (Excuse my French for the next couple of paragraphs.) The Herald Sun had me ready to beat somebody’s ass up. The angry black woman narrative and stereotype is so prominent in every country that it disgusts me, to know that a black woman defending her name, and correcting someone’s claim is seen as a tantrum. Black women can’t even blink too hard without being subjected to scrutiny, if black women and men show anything other than gratefulness and gratitude it is automatically seen as barbaric and ungrateful. And what in the hell should we be grateful for?
Let me point out some of the things in this image that has me more than offended. The fact that Naomi Osaka is portrayed as a white woman with blonde hair actually plays into the MISOGYNOIR narrative of black woman or better yet black people being inferior people who can’t play a game when in fact Naomi Osaka is a black woman. Two black women played the game, both black women showed emotions, it’s just one showed an emotion you believe black people shouldn’t be subjected to.
Secondly, the pacifier on the floor implicating that she is a child, shows that you believed her actions were immature but I’ve seen men tennis players do more than tell an umpire to apologize for lying, on the contrary, I’ve seen WHITE MALE tennis players throw their racket, flip chair, kick things etc. And yet I don’t see an image featuring them with a pacifier do you?
Thirdly, portraying her with primate features furthers the narrative, that black people whether they be a woman or man are barbaric animals. Let me clue you in on a little something Mark Knight from The Herald Sun, black people are not apes nor are we primates. Black people are allowed to show emotions, we are not primitive beasts.
Lastly, “Can you just let her win?” implies that Serena’s “tantrum” wasn’t about the umpire’s call accusing her cheating. It just shocks me that in 2018 we still have ignorant baboons in journalism and media. And yet, I am not surprised the lack of diversity in Australia shows in The Herald Sun.
I do not have copyright ownership to the images used in this article/blog.
Scroll down to read a few tweets regarding this image: