Tennis star accused of racism after impersonation

Alys Francis, ninemsn
4:06pm December 12, 2012
December 11, 2012: Caroline Wozniacki has made Serena Williams the butt of her joke at an exhibition match against Maria Sharapova in Sao Paulo.

Tennis champion Caroline Wozniacki's has been criticised for being racist after impersonating Serena Williams by stuffing towels into her clothes to mimic her rival athlete's curvaceous body.

The 22-year-old sports star pretended to be Williams during an exhibition match against Maria Sharapova in Sao Paulo, Brazil – copying the tennis great's trademark bouncing, grunts and squeals.

Read more: Wozniacki impersonates Serena Williams.

But while the display prompted laughter from the crowd it outraged others who branded her actions as racist.

Feministing.com blogger Katie Halper accused Wozniacki of making fun of Williams' body.

"When a white woman makes fun of a black woman's body, especially in a way that hypersexualises her and draws on the stereotypes of black women's big butts, it's racist," she wrote.

Caroline Wozniacki at a tennis match in Brazil.
Caroline Wozniacki at a tennis match in Brazil.

Another 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."

But others pointed out that Wozniacki is good friends with Williams.

Yahoo Sports writer Jay Busbee said acknowledged their friendship, saying: "One could argue that Wozniacki was making fun of Willams' figure outside the context of race; there are, of course, white curvaceous women's tennis players. Throwing out accusations of racism is all too easy for such a serious charge."

Other commentators suggested Wozniacki was merely copying men's tennis champion Novak Djokovic, who has impersonated Williams as well as many other players including Maria Sharapova and Roger Federer.

Author: Alys Francis.
Sources: Salon, the Huffington Post, Feministing.com.

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