Tasmanian football players dress as Serena and Venus Williams and don 'blackface' for club's Mad Monday event

Lowenna Waters
Wednesday 19 September 2018 09:00
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Picture:(Julian Finney / Staff / Getty Images )

Three Australian football players have been disgraced after they painted their face and body black in a shocking instance of 'blackface' for their club's Mad Monday celebration.

The three amateur league players compete for the Penguin League Football Club, Tasmania. Two of the men, Mitch Stanley and Matt Chamberlain, dressed as Serena and Venus Williams.

The third, Beau Grundy, dressed as the Sydney Swans player Aliir Aliir, the first Sudanese player to be selected NAB AFL National Draft.

Grundy uploaded a photograph of the three men dressed in their costumes to the Mad Monday Facebook group, accompanied by the caption:

William sisters and Aliir Aliir #MadMonday

The post has now been deleted, but screenshots have been saved, and widely shared on social media:

Tasmanian Aboriginal activist Michael Mansell said the Penguin Football Club needed to take responsibility for the players' actions, reports ABC.net:

There's a need for the clubs to take responsibility for any racist, sexist or offensive behaviour.

People enjoy playing their sports, but they are entertaining in front of the public and therefore they need to acknowledge the values that the public expects them to adhere to.

This sort of racist behaviour is offensive to most reasonable people. 

Mr Mansell also said that the club, which is yet to issue a statement, must make a public stand.

They've got to come out and denounce this sort of behaviour, and make it clear that it does not reflect the views of the Penguin Football Club or people associated with it

He also said that the costumes sent a terrible message:

The message is that [people] are free to make a mockery of people who are not white.

The controversial and offensive photograph has emerged only days after a 'disgustingly racist' cartoon of Serena Williams at the US Open caused wide-spread outrage after it was published by the Australian newspaper the Herald Sun.

The drawing, by cartoonist Mark Knight, depicted Williams as a baby with a dummy having a tantrum, with clenched fists, while her opponent, Haitian Japanese Naomi Osaka, was shown as a slim white woman.

The enlarged size of her lips and nose in the cartoon enraged many, and caused comparisons with Jim Crow-era illustrations of African-American women.

It garnered high profile criticism, with JK Rowling tweeting:

Well done on reducing one of the greatest sportswomen alive to racist and sexist tropes and turning a second great sportswoman into a faceless prop.

indy100 has contacted Tasmanian Penguin Football Club for comment.

HT The Daily Mail

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