Australian football players wear blackface to dress up like Serena Williams


Three Australian football players faced backlash after images of them donning blackface to dress up as tennis players Serena and Venus Williams and Kenyan-born football player Aliir Aliir surfaced online.

HuffPost reported on Wednesday that the athletes, who play for Penguin Football Club, a local Australian Football League (AFL) club, dressed in blackface for an end-of-season celebration known as “Mad Monday.”

According to the publication, photos of the costumes surfaced on Facebook last week, prompting immediate outrage from people on social media.

“Some Australians still have no clue what is considered racist,” one user tweeted on Tuesday, along with a photo of the costumes. “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 Penguin Football Club said it was unaware its players “intended to dress in this manner” and called their behavior “unacceptable in this day and age.”

The club also said the players have since been reprimanded and that they believe the trio “never intended to be racist in any way” with the costumes and “all they meant to do was dress as one of their sporting idols.” 

{mosads}The club added that the players have apologized for their costumes and that it is implementing new strategies going forward “to ensure that this completely unacceptable behavior never happens again.”

AFL Tasmania said in a statement to HuffPost that it strongly disapproved of the trio’s behavior.

“We will be working with the league and club to get more information and to see how we can assist in providing education for the players,” CEO Trisha Squires said in a statement obtained by the publication. 

The news arrives a week after an Australian newspaper was accused of racism and sexism over a cartoon mocking Serena Williams.

The newspaper has since defended the artist and released a cover last week that read “Welcome to the PC World.”

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