Serena Williams Faces Racist, Sexist Backlash Over Sports Illustrated “Sportsperson Of The Year” Cover
Serena Williams is facing racist and sexist backlash just hours after Sports Illustrated announced on Monday that the tennis star is its 2015 “Sportsperson of the Year.” A slew of mean-spirited tweets poking fun at her body type and physical appearance have hit social media, while some have even argued that Triple Crown winner American Pharoah should have been given the honor.
While it’s not uncommon for differing views to be expressed after Sports Illustrated releases its annual “Sportsperson of the Year” cover, the virulent and, at times, vile backlash to Williams seems unprecedented. One Twitter user nastily wrote, “In other news, Serena Williams is a man. A very sexy ape like man.” Another seemingly racist user tweeted a photo of a monkey in a tennis dress, with the caption, “Congrats to Serena Williams on winning #SportsIllustrated sports person of the year!” “That’s a man, baby!” added another hater.
Thankfully, not all of the Twitter comments were negative. Some of Williams’ famous friends, including Kerry Washington and Gabrielle Union, praised her for being the first solo woman to win the honor since 1983. “YES! LOOOOOOOVE. @serenawilliams that @SINow cover is EVERYTHING,” tweeted Washington. Meanwhile, Union mocked tweets that criticized the choice of Williams for “Sportsperson of the Year.”
Serena Williams’ full cover story will appear in the December 21 issue of Sports Illustrated. Check out her “Sportsperson of the Year” cover below, and tell Gossip Cop what you think.