Australia is back at it again with the racism. This time, the people making headlines are three football players who dressed in blackface to impersonate Venus and Serena Williams as part of an end-of-season celebration called “Mad Monday.”
According to HuffPost, the three athletes, who play for a local Australian Rules Football (AFL), dressed as the tennis stars and Kenyan-born AFL player Aliir Aliir.
Immediately after photos of the group went viral, people slammed the athletes and the country for continuing to fuel racist stereotypes.
“Some Australians still have no clue what is considered racist,” Twitter user Francis Gonzalez tweeted. “This Mad Monday 'costume' is clearly racist. And I’m a person who is fed up with today’s over-the-top political correctness.”
The photo was shared just days after the Australian newspaper The Herald Sun received backlash for publishing a racist and sexist cartoon of Serena after she lost to Naomi Osaka in the U.S. Open women’s final.
The latest racist incident involving players from the Penguin Football Club has left many Australians setting their “days without blackface incident in Australia” boards back to zero again, as many Twitter users quipped.
Unlike the newspaper, the Penguin Football Club, which the players belong to, released a statement to HuffPost saying the club was not aware the players “intended to dress in this manner” and that their behavior was “unacceptable in this day and age.”
And while the athletes were punished, although it’s unclear how, they still said their “actions were never intended to be racist in any way” and “all they meant to do was dress as one of their sporting idols.”
The players have apologized, and the league said it has put in place strategies “to ensure that this completely unacceptable behavior never happens again.”
(Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images)