Tennis star accused of racism

2012-12-12 09:01

Sydney - Caroline Wozniacki has been accused of racism after stuffing her top and skirt with towels to impersonate fellow tennis player Serena Williams during a match in Brazil.

According to the website, the 22-year-old Dane pranced around the court to laughter and whistles from the crowd as she played a point against Maria Sharapova in the exhibition match in Sao Paulo.

VIDEO: Caroline Wozniacki impersonates Serena Williams

But the former world No 1 has now attracted criticism on social media for impersonating the Grand Slam champion, who is also her friend.

On Tumblr, one blogger wrote: "This isn't "harmless fun" as one article described it. its racist. out and outright racism. mocking and making fun of the bodies of black women for a laugh? real funny, stupid white girl. real real funny.'

Another blogger wrote: "It may have been done in "jest," but I love how people can can turn a black woman's body and sexuality into a caricature. However, we should not have the autonomy to celebrate any successes of our own."

An article on the website said: "... given the history and current-day context of racialised standards of beauty, and the hypersexualisation of people of colour, when a white woman makes fun of a black women's body, especially in a way that hypersexualises her and draws on the stereotype of black women's big butts, it's racist."

Hass Dellal, the executive director of the Australian Multicultural Foundation, said Wozniacki probably did not intend her actions to be racist, but they could be interpreted as such.

"It's quite inappropriate to be mocking or making jest of people's physical shape or image, especially when it's such an issue with young people today," he said.

"I can see how some people could interpret that, simply because of stereotyping, as being racist.

"A role model should be acting more responsibly. It's quite inappropriate to mock a person's body shape and image.

"Stereotyping can lead to all forms of discrimination."

It's not the first time Wozniacki has imitated her friend Williams during an exhibition match.

She performed a similar stunt in December last year, when she also danced around the court to a Rihanna song.

And Andy Roddick has also impersonated Williams by stuffing towels down his pants on court.

Williams is known for referring to her figure.

The day before the exhibition match in Brazil, which Williams also attended, she tweeted: "Hummmmm do they make Brazilian bikinis for ummm well..... Me???".


  • sheamus.drager - 2012-12-12 09:14

    Ohh for the love of... Of course it was racist, because when ever you make fun a a black person, it's racism. It clearly had nothing to do with the fact that Serena Williams has a big butt and t*ts. The Racism Police have gone f8cking mental.

      omge.klits - 2012-12-12 11:26

      Does this mean no more joking with whiteys for Trevoh Noah ?

  • ben.nel2 - 2012-12-12 09:20

    Pathetic. I saw Ellen do a siliar impersonation of Sofia Vergara. Also racist?

  • willem.dehaan.94 - 2012-12-12 09:21

    Ag, please, man! Racism! You must be joking! Next time she wears a black skirt that would be racist too! Maybe we should take it as racism when Williams wears white panties!

  • davy.botha - 2012-12-12 09:22

    In this world today if you make a joke to a black person it is racist when you make it to coloureds and white it is fine!

      jason.seegers - 2012-12-12 09:27

      This^^ I feel exactly the same about this. It's a bit of a joke really and just goes to show how blacks all over the world cling to racism rubbish. It's not unique to SA or Africa alone. Very sad!

      Jimmy NZ - 2012-12-12 09:29

      I agree, can someone only poke fun at someone for the fact that they are built like a tank, but if they are black it's not cool. Navratilova copped years of abuse for pete's sake. Hypocrites the whole lot of em!

  • ross.paitaki - 2012-12-12 09:24

    please this is not racist, plus they dont call serena williams "megatron" for nothing!

  • paul.korb.9 - 2012-12-12 09:24

    why when blacks mock whites not racism - we owe you nothing! if you cant laugh about yourselves then move on! The world over the "In" thing was to be fighting for black rights, but people have seen through the hypocrasy in these groups! so get a life!

      thapelo.rametsi - 2012-12-12 09:50

      Give an incidence where Blacks mocked whites then I will agree with you. Dont just come with outrageous, untested allegation!

      frederick.nel - 2012-12-12 10:10

      I like how you gave the word blacks an uppercase 'B' , nice touch. The fact is you do have a chip on your shoulder and in all hounesty i can understand that but racsim goes both ways. Ive herd 'B'lack people make jokes about whites and i laughed. Please cry more.

  • Bob.Cee123 - 2012-12-12 09:27

    Mockery of a fellow player and in that manner was certainly in poor taste and speaks volumes of this girl's shallow character. Not sure about the racism bit, though. It's becoming a bit like 'the boy who cried wolf' lately, if accusations of racism keep on being rolled out for every instance of mockery involving somebody of another race, it loses it's impact when there actually is racism.

      gungets.tuft - 2012-12-12 09:54

      Bob, Bob, Bob - it happens all the time. Search Yuotube for the mens circuit where the likes of Rafa, Djokovich and Federer regularly take the p#ss out of each others habits, style etc. It has everything to do with fun and nothing to do with the "shallowness of character" that you have trotted out. It ESPECIALLY happens at this time of year when the competitive tournaments are over and exhibitions are being played. On the womens circuit shriekers like Sharapova are also immitated. The commentators should get over themselves - get Williams to comment. She will laugh it off.

      Bob.Cee123 - 2012-12-12 10:04

      @ gungets.tuft Playing style, quirks and mannerisms are one thing and can be quite funny if imitated jokingly, but physical characteristics are somewhat accross the line, in my opinion.

  • darryl.maze1 - 2012-12-12 09:31

    Seriously!!! How is this racist??? Why when ever a black person gets made fun of its racist. But when whites and coloured get made fun of we just laugh and go along with it. Its amazing how quick blacks jump in and throw out the race card. Get over it.

      Erna - 2012-12-12 10:16

      My personal experience is that some black people, definitely not all, think they can say and do anything, and fling out accusations, but as soon as I defend myself, or respond, I get accused of racism. Do black people really believe that only whites can be racist?

  • linda.raschtorode - 2012-12-12 09:40

    Why was there no fuss made, then, when Novak Djokovic impersonated Serena recently and stuffed towels in HIS shirt?

  • Jacques - 2012-12-12 09:43

    What utter tripe. I love how this feminism site can come up with stuff like 'hypersexualization', but then in the same sentence refer to 'a black woman's butt'. First world problems, this. They should wait tables where I do. The names we call each other, in genuine zest, will cause some international relations scandal.

  • stephanus.pfourie - 2012-12-12 09:47

    So now if a black persons take the curl out of his hair or dye his hair blond, can this also be seen as racism seeing that is attributes of the white people ?

      rodney.louis.7 - 2012-12-12 13:48

      @stephanus lol .. well they way the lass was behaving is causing the trouble not the act .she was clearly mocking Serena

  • wesley.rousseau.58 - 2012-12-12 09:55

    I don't care, look how hot she is!

  • thapelo.rametsi - 2012-12-12 09:55

    This girl is one of the most stupid of the current tennis players. Listen when she is being interviewed, one will think that she has actually not attended even great R. She is a shame, this is the girl I will never have babies with as I am afraid my children with her will be idiots like her!!!!!!!!!!

      stirrer.stirrer - 2012-12-12 10:08

      If you spell it "great R" you shouldn't have babies. Ever.

      theo.konings.9 - 2012-12-12 10:09

      How is she stupid and what is great R? Your current or last level of education?

      alfred.neumann.142 - 2012-12-12 10:13

      I really don't think you need to worry about her wanting to have your babies.

  • leon.toerien - 2012-12-12 09:59

    And she is more Butch than most men!

  • alfred.neumann.142 - 2012-12-12 09:59

    Careful News24, next thing you'll be accused of racism for pointing out the fact that she is black.

  • unclejb.vansiths - 2012-12-12 10:08

    Wozniacki always gets murdered by Serena on the courts now she resorts to making fun of her, she has no class. What a nutt!!

  • Carlton - 2012-12-12 10:50

    Lol, duh what else can u expect from whites.

  • Neo Mafabatho - 2012-12-12 10:52

    Look at all the whites coming to the rescue of the racist. Frankly I'm not surprised!!!!

      darryl.maze1 - 2012-12-12 11:18

      Oh get over it NEO!! There is nothing racist here. Get that through your thick skull you twat. You blacks have always gotta make everything a racist issue.

      peter.mokoena.31 - 2012-12-12 12:48

      Familiarity breeds contempts, that is how one notes people's mentality. Morons and dom koppe, with thin skulls..

      Stefan Erasmus - 2012-12-12 13:20

      yes we are so sick and tired of all jou racist ch.....! Peter the fly IQ is the same as your...both like ch....

  • dalai.rama.9 - 2012-12-12 10:57

    Double standards me thinks! if black people use 'human' hair of white people, speak with phony accents thinking they are sounding white, tell their private-school going kids not to speak their mother tongues but only english because their mother tongues are 'primitive', 'buy' things they can't afford with borrowed money to impress their friends that they are have arrived, would that qualify to be racism?

      unclejb.vansiths - 2012-12-12 11:22

      Racist much!?

      peter.mokoena.31 - 2012-12-12 12:55

      Ur IQ speaks a volume, perhaps ur brains equals that of a fly..

      shooshyu.tu - 2012-12-12 19:12

      @peter. You have proven your low IQ by copying & pasting a comment made by Stefan Erasmus - December 12, 2012 at 13:20 "yes we are so sick and tired of all jou racist ch.....! Peter the fly IQ is the same as your...both like ch...."

  • warren.d.manning - 2012-12-12 11:08

    Black is the new white, dam the white chick has some mamories! How black is that!

  • warren.carne.9 - 2012-12-12 11:23

    Totally untrue...If she was holding KFC drumstick in her hand at the same time,well that's an entirely different scenario

  • georgia.brand.5 - 2012-12-12 11:34

    Can we move on now... seems like a lovely young girl having a joke. Serena does have big boobs and but. Lets face it.. Loads of us would love big boobs etc... Is it racist or observationist? All depends on whether one is looking to see the horrible in life all the time.. I see it as a friendly mickey take.. just look into her eyes - their is no hate their...

  • david.s.duncan.1 - 2012-12-12 11:57

    Agreed. Wozniacki is a known prankster. It's not like Williams has been singled out by her. Why is everything about race? Is it more important that Williams is black or a human being? If you insist on playing the race card for everything and maintain a victim mentality, then expect to always be a second rate citizen.

  • erik.prinsloo.1 - 2012-12-12 12:31

    Think the real racists are tyhose who see colour in everything!!!!!

  • peter.mokoena.31 - 2012-12-12 12:41

    South African racists does not see anything wrong it, that is their daily dose, international community unfamiliar with such, will be quick to note. Still a long way to go..

  • Neo Mafabatho - 2012-12-12 13:02

    D.Man I'll be the bigger person by not insulting you. Let me show you that contrary to popular belief,we blacks actually have the class that you clearly don't have.

      manuel.p.quintino - 2012-12-12 17:35

      It's evident in the activities of burning tyres, destructive striking and the way Joburg CBD looks

  • manuel.p.quintino - 2012-12-12 13:15

    I'm going to put a pillow in my pants and walk around the mall. Let's see how quickly I can make the headlines.

  • - 2012-12-12 14:00

    Looking good this fuller figure I'm sure the blokes love it!

  • riaan.bekker.94 - 2012-12-12 14:44

    O my word....what a load of absolute crap!

  • ptolemy.leonardo - 2012-12-12 16:37

    The Serena physique is not typical of black women. Compare her sister Venus or watch a ladies 5000 meter track event. So just as well they are friends and very sporting of Serena to take it in good spirit.

  • kamohelo.lichaba - 2012-12-12 16:58

    I think a lot of people are remarking without taking history into consideration. What she did was the equivalent of a German sporting a "Jewish" outfit in Poland. The German is most likely not racist and the outfit might be deemed funny. But taking history into consideration one must find this at least inappropriate. Unlike the tourists adverts, Brazil is not the land of racial harmony. Historically females of color have suffered significantly.

      manuel.p.quintino - 2012-12-12 20:13

      So the Danes have a history of oppression, racism? Brazilian females victims of prejudice? Brazil is a melting pot. I've lived in Brazil and it has to be the most diverse, fun loving country in the world. I would like to see some reference to your statement.

      kamohelo.lichaba - 2012-12-12 21:11

      Manuel. Yes. Denmark had several ports and slave trading posts in West Africa and even India. Saying that Brazil is a melting pot, diverse, and fun loving doesn't mean anything. South Africa was diverse during apartheid. I don't know what you are trying to imply with "fun loving." Are you implying that women of color in Brazil hold similar status as their white counterparts? If you say yes then I will know you are just being silly.

      manuel.p.quintino - 2012-12-12 21:17

      Kamohelo, in most countries there will always be indifferences in status, classes etc. Perhaps there has been cases that you've explained (maybe some time ago) but most have moved on. South Africa unfortunately hasn't...

      Owentjie - 2012-12-12 23:39

      Dont worry about Kamo, if you re not black, he doesnt like you. He is downright racist. Given his history

      kamohelo.lichaba - 2012-12-12 23:49

      Owen. I never said it was racist. I said it was inappropriate considering the racial historical facts.

      tosan.tutsetonwe - 2012-12-13 00:54

      Folks aren't going to get it. If you want to move on from something, mocking them isn't really going to help the cause. It's one of those things that makes people uncomfortable to think about and say. But its true.. look at the comments mocking people for being offended, as if "how dare they!?" lol Maybe if she spent more time trying to imitate Serena's tennis instead of her bust and bum, she may have won at least one grand slam title by now lol

      bootman.bokke - 2012-12-13 11:29

      Tosan good comment dude. It's like black people are not allowed to be offended. I dont find it racist but I do find it offensive and inapropriate for a "professional" sports person to act in this way. The fact that she would poke fun at another persons physical features speaks volumes of her mentality. Would anybody poke fun at Natalie Du Toit or Oscar Pistorius? I doubt it. I think Wosniaki's childishness will cost her. This little girl can only hope to achieve what Serena has achieved in her career.

      Owentjie - 2012-12-14 06:25

      You hate whites

  • - 2012-12-13 09:59

    Venus is not built like Serena so how can this be racist. If black people feel offended by this then look after your body. I know many white women who looks like that too.

  • chantal.coetsee - 2012-12-29 16:27

    lol That's funny! Come on.! That would be taking things a little far. Don't you think?

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