Australian football players wear blackface to dress as Serena Williams

  • 21/09/2018
The three Australian football players.
The three Australian football players. Photo credit: @fgonzalez_/Twitter

Three Australian football players have landed themselves in hot water after images of them wearing blackface to dress up as tennis stars Serena and Venus Williams and footballer Aliir Aliir surfaced online.

The Huffington Post reported the players from Tasmania's Penguin Football were celebrating Mad Monday, a traditional end-of-season celebration.

The Penguin Football Club said it was unaware its players had "intended to dress in this manner" and called the behaviour "unacceptable".

It also said the players had been reprimanded.

Tasmanian Aboriginal activist Michael Mansell, who played football for North Hobart and Launceston, told Australian Broadcasting Corp their behaviour was “offensive to most reasonable people".

"How many young Aboriginal players would want to go now to the Penguin Football Club or be part of the NWFL [North West Football League] if this is the sort of attitude that is allowed to happen?" he said.

Social media reacted to the post, with many saying the football players showed a lack of awareness.

"I am truly sorry," one Twitter user wrote. "Australia is deeply racist in some key areas. I believe we need to face the sins of our history and truly seek change."

Another wrote: "If you can't figure out how to wear a costume tributing someone of a different race without painting your skin, your costume is trash, you have no imagination and you should be something else."

It comes just a week after Australian newspaper the Herald Sun was accused of racism and sexism for a cartoon of Serena Williams.


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