Danish tennis pro Caroline Wozniacki created a firestorm recently with her racially charged “impression” of her friend Serena Williams. During an exhibition match, Wozniacki donned pads around her chest and buttocks to accentuate her figure to approximate the curvy Williams.
While the audience appeared amused by Wozniacki’s antics, many African-Americans took offense, arguing that the white tennis player was making fun of stereotypically black female bodies.
One blogger wrote, “this isn’t ‘harmless fun’ as one article described it. its racist. out and outright racism. its misogynistic. mocking and making fun of the bodies of black women for a laugh? real funny, stupid white girl. real real funny.” [sic]
Another blogger wrote, “So a white woman can do something like this, but Serena Williams can’t crip walk to celebrate a victory? Wozniacki stuffed her bra and underwear so that she could appear like Serena. It may have been done in “jest,” but I love how people 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”.
Now Serena Williams is finally weighing on on the controversy.
“I know Caro and I would call her my friend”, she wrote in an email to USA Today”.
“And I don’t think she (meant) anything racist by it”.
Still, Williams acknowledged that it might be time for Wozniacki to retire the homage to her physique.
“I must add”, she wrote. “If people feel this way, she should take reason and do something different next time”.