Is Caroline Wozniacki's Impersonation of Serena Williams Racist?

Comments

1
the degredation of the african female body by white people through ridicule has been going on for just about as long as white people knew black people existed. Look up the Hottentot Venus as an example. They have long been treated as circus freaks and weirdos for their proportions and yes, it is very racist.
2
Must be a slow news day.
3
And of course it is totally OK to counter something racist with a disgustingly bigoted comment -- by hey, Charles is the ultimate troll. And for someone as disgustingly sexist as you, Charles, to criticize someone else's racism? You have no credibility at all, dude.
4
Wow. First sentence is so . . . full of shit. "Basically Polish"? Can you define that? And whatever it means, how does it make her "underdeveloped" in her thinking?

Remember when you thought white kids were going to run over all their adopted Asian siblings? You're such a lazy ineffectual bastard.
5
Shorter Mudede: "It's racist, but hey, what do you expect from a Polack?"
6
[track changes]Can we just get a second look at that first sentence, Charles?[/track changes]

7
What does Jezebel think? That's the important question you should be asking.
8
Nobody had a fucking clue what she was doing with that padding until she clarified afterwards. "Oh, well that involves a black person so that act is now racist"
9
Thank you Ian. It is ridiculous and sad that another woman would do such a thing. I don't' think it's racist per se, I believe it is ignorant and unprofessional. I wonder what Serena thinks of this?
10
Bungling builders bulldoze entire historic French chateau by mistake

...its new owner, a Russian millionaire businessman, employed a team of Polish builders to renovate the manor to its former baroque glory, including the removal of one small building.

But the workers apparently misunderstood the instructions and pulled down the castle instead, leaving the outhouse completely untouched.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-…
11
A lot of commenters here seem to think that Charles is making some kind of statement about Poles. I think you're missing the point he's trying to make. It's not just that Wozniacki is Polish (in fact, she is Danish - but of Polish descent), but that she is European, and Eastern European at that. I am a Seattle native who lives in Europe now. What Charles describes as "underdevelopment of her thinking and attitudes in matters of this sort" is actually a fair thing to say about a lot of Europeans. It doesn't mean that they are inherently or reflexively racist, more that their sensitivity to the nuances of the issue are, well, less developed than Americans. A lot of Americans would see such a display and it would automatically trigger the "is this racist" thought response. A lot of Europeans simply wouldn't have that response - racist or not. Someone like Wozniacki (and it should be said, who knows what is in her mind individually), someone who grew up like her around where she did, is much less likely than an American to have that racism response triggered. One need only spend time here interacting with Europeans to see that. Again, it doesn't mean she/they have racist motivations or hold racist ideas, more that they wouldn't grasp the potential racism in the act.
12
It's sad that the first sentence of this derailed the full conversation that could have been had.
13
Charles: Another attempt at "humour" (humor on this side of the pond). You really want to mock a nationality with a stereotypical comment and gloss over a racist allegation with a side-step to sexism? Too cerebral if that is your intent, otherwise..... wow.
14
Maybe Serena should post a vid of her pegging a skinny white golfer.
Or just use that strong ass & chest to beat the crap out of Europe's sweetheart the next time they play, and make a shit-tonne of money doing it.
15
I don't' think it's racist per se, either but in bad taste. If we can ever (and that is a big ever) get past true racism in this grand ol accepting state, shenanigans like this will no longer be a big deal.
16
@13: I think the intent of Charles is obvious, as it means that if you are to find his incredibly discriminatory opening sentence to be racist, you are then forced to admit that the impression is also racist.

Not a bad device, but a better writer would be able to open the discussion in a way that is not also racist, thus derailing the conversation. Bascially, a good writer knows his audience.
17
@14: I would buy a copy of both of those videos.
18
I don't' think it's racist per se either, but in bad taste. Until we can rid the grand ol US of racsim pranks and/or jokes like this will continue to cause confusion as to its' meaning.
19
On a (somewhat) different note, I despise both Serena and Venus Williams. Not because they're black, but because they're tennis hacks. All they've got is a powerful serve. Their footwork sucks, their net skills suck, they're not agile, or observant, or talented. They're just strong. So they can hit really hard serves. That's why they do well at Wimbledon but suck at the French Open (grass vs. clay).

Watching them play is a bore. Unfortunately, since they're the only American players that consistently do well, American tennis TV obsesses over them. Sucks.
20
@16: by that logic, if Wozniacki was intending to make a comment about racism, then her actions were ok. Basically, it's ok to be racist as long as you're not *actually* racist. That kind of inane reasoning is best left to the Mudedes of the world, who truly believe they are above any of the rules that the proscribe for others.
21
Of course it's racist. If she had also stuck some big wax lips on her mouth, we wouldn't even be asking the question.

And yeah, that first sentence of yours, Charles... Would you say that to Lech Walesa? Seriously?? Dude. Duuuude.

22
@20: Call it racist if you want, or decide it is not racist. I don't care. I was pointing out that there is more to Charles' statement than him just deciding Polish people are dumb.

You must have missed the part of my comment where I said plainly that the statement was "incredibly discriminatory," and essentially failed in its purpose.

Also, context and intent does matter. The word "faggot" means something very different coming out of Dan Savage's mouth than from Rick Santorum's mouth. If you do not believe this, then I imagine you lecture every black dude you see/hear saying the word "nigga," right?
23
This is a direct attack on Williams driven by personal jealousy of both her skill and her appearance.

It is a bit sexist because of the suggestion that curvy women look ridiculous on the tennis court. It is racist if you insist on claiming that those curves are a halmark of black women only (Pam Anderson may disagree).

However, it is mostly an attempt to humiliate a skilled rival.

Making this be primarily about sex or race trivializes Williams' hard work and skill as a tennis player.
24
Racism or not (not my first consideration when I first heard the story), it was just plain, downright mean, unsportsmanlike and mean. It's hurtful, was intended to be hurtful, and she deserves a good smack across the face.
25
It's funny, it's not racist. There, I fixed it.
26
Sorry to say it but Slog has gotten so lame lately. This is the best thing on here today, not because it's good (it's stupid and insulting) but because everything else is so dull.
27
@19 - Both Venus and Serena have won the FO once, and Serena owns 5 AUS open, the slowest surface beside FO. They may not have classic training but they are both incredibly talented. They are also physical specimens but it doesn't take anything away from their accomplishments even though Venus' record isn't as well rounded. Serena could have owned almost all the records with different career management.
28
Yep, it's racist. In my experience Europeans don't have many qualms about appearing racist, and the farther east you go the more true that is.
29
Wosniaki grew up in Denmark, in case someone couldn't tell Charles is trolling.
30
@27,
I admit my criticism is probably somewhat overzealous, since they must have done something right, given their records.

It's just that I find them painfully boring to watch. Watching service is the least exciting part of the game. I'll take a slower volley at net any day over a superfastfaultsecondserveontheline... followed by the usual toweling off, getting new balls, looking at the balls, choosing a ball, looking around, bouncing the ball.... superfastfaultsecondserveontheline.

Boring.
31
It's not racist. We make big breast jokes about Dolly Parton.
32
@23 correct.
@31 too.
33
#30 - both Williams sisters have won a lot of doubles especially in grand slams. To say they are not good at the net is ridiculous. How many top female players (and men) play at the net nowadays ? Hardly. By your logic Peter Sampras was boring too - he won most of the points on serves (whom Serena emulates her serves). It wins games.
34
(Peter Sampras WAS a little boring.)

I vote yes, racist and yes, sexist.

And Serena Williams is God.
35
Fuck Wozniacki. No, don't -- she's too boring.
36
@31 is right. It isn't racist. The players are friends. It was just a silly joke making fun of her big boobs and butt. It probably wasn't meant in a mean spirited way. Believe it or not, some men find big boobs (and butts) attractive. If anything, it is racist to assume that all black women have big boobs and butts. I don't think it is necessarily sexist, any more than if you stuffed tennis balls in your sleeves to mimic LeBron James. If Serena shows up in a wig that is blond hair with braids like Caroline, is she racist? Of course not.

By the way, I guessed they were friends, then had it confirmed by this post: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/tennis-bus…
37
This is not important enough to even warrant a discussion about whether it is racist or not.
38
I don't know if it's racist, but publicly ridiculing another person's body type like this is in terrible taste. Especially sad to see a woman doing it to another woman.
39
@33,
Kim Clijsters played net all the time and wasn't a particularly strong server. Steffi Graf was a great server, but I think definitely better known for her volleying and agility than her serves. I think both were way more interesting to watch play than the Williams'
Sampras WAS boring (in my opinion). I know it wins games, but that doesn't mean it's not boring.
Even back court volleys are more interesting than watching serves all day long. Agassi was great fun to watch.

But this is all just my own opinion on it. Some people love watching Serena Williams serve all day, that's cool, just not what I'd want to do.
40
Did Wozniacki do anything to indicate that she was impersonating Serena Williams specifically?

Or is that merely an assumption?
41
Thank you @35.
42
@39 I have a similar opinion. I loved watching Steffi play, as she was one of a few women to use a one-handed backhand. She would serve & volley at Wimbledon, but had a complete game, as her trophy case testifies.

Serena's body makes me drool, but her game leaves me apathetic. She is so much stronger and often faster than her opponents that she just blows them off the court, or looks really sloppy in failing to do so. Either way, it just isn't interesting to me. Her "A" game would blow Steffi away, and even that wouldn't be much fun to watch.

Remove the sexy part, and it's the same for Becker & Sampras. Loved watching Boris, but Sampras was a machine.
43
Is Charles Mudede racist?

The answer is:

YES!
44
@19: It isn't the Williams sisters' fault that a style of play you happen to like does not happen to be the style of play that is best rewarded in tennis. When they're easily the most successful American women in tennis now, I would find it ridiculous for the media to NOT pay attention to them.

I understand what you're saying, though. It's why I vastly prefer college football to pro- the pros are too good at preventing unconventional play from being successful to allow it, which makes the game a lot less interesting.

I was appalled during the Olympic coverage, however, that not one of Serena and Venus' tennis matches were covered in primetime, when they were American, and won gold medals. It annoys me that we ignore sports Americans aren't good at, but we couldn't even see Americans winning gold medals in a pretty mainstream sport?
46
@19: Really, do you know anything about tennis?
47
Confused. Who is William and why does Charles say that he has an African body?

(Today on ESPN's Pardon The Interruption, J.A. Adande made the point that Wozniacki's "impression" wasn't racist because it was clearly a spoof on Serena Williams' assets but also, just as clearly, not a spoof on her sister Venus' differently shaped body...thus, not a spoof of Serena being "black" as much as it was a spoof of Serena having big boobs and a big butt...which she does.)
48
first guy >>>> "I call a spade a spade."

second guy >> "Racist!"
49
@46,
Yes. Do you?
50
She's just jealous because Serena looks like a big fat girl compared to most of the other tennis chicks, and she looks like she's going to be big, fat & slow on the court. By the time you realize she's incredibly fast and strong and better than you at tennis, you're already down a set and a half and starting to shake, while she's just getting warmed up.

(Seriously -- when was the last time anybody saw Serena tired?)
52
I gotta go with not racist. Wozniacki put in the fake boobs and butt because Serena Williams has big boobs and a big butt, not because black women have big boobs and butts. If she had been imitating Venus Williams, she wouldn't have put in the padding because, unlike her sister, Venus doesn't have many curves.

Now, it might be unsportsmanlike or in bad taste. But racist? It's hard for me to go that far.
53
@51. OK, a year and 3 months ago...
54
Again: what did Wozniacki do to indicate that she was impersonating Serena Williams specifically?

Did she yell out, "Hey everyone, look my impression of Serena Williams!"?
55
Caroline lost the game. Good to know. Never heard of her before this and probably won't hear much about her in the future.

Serena and Venus are fantastic tennis players. Have always loved them. Serena should just ignore this and not even comment about it. She's better known than Caroline will ever be.
56
1. Charles was trolling with the Polack joke. Come on, people.

2. Is it true, as #36 above states, that Wozniacki and S. Williams are friends? That might make a difference. (Or did you mean that Wozniacki and her opponent in this match are friends, and she was just trying to bust up her pal on the court?)
57
Really, @55? You must not pay much attention to tennis. She may not be nearly as recognized as Serena, but she was ranked number 1 in the world for 67 weeks ending only last year. Even a very casual tennis watcher should have heard of her.
58
Last time I checked, Caroline was Dane not Polish! Under or overdeveloped... Whatever!

Next time you need to verify facts before firing insults.

Being a Black woman myself, I don't think it was racist. Caroline is known for her fun personality and therefore I believe she did it in good spirits. I love Serena to bits and not really a Caroline fan and it would be easy for me to just trash Caroline but Caroline does have a history of communicating with the spectators and playing a fool. So I can't call her racist she just traded on dangerous grounds.
59
Not racist. Just cause someone who is "white" pulls a prank or joke in bad taste on someone "of color" does not make them racist. Check your deck of cards Charles.
60
This is very much in keeping with Ms Wozniacki's usual conduct, which includes stating at a press conference during the Australian Open that she had been bitten by a kangaroo. If one is going to pull a stunt of this nature, the exhibition season would seem to be the least unpropitious timing. Mr Djokovic's impersonation of Mr Nadal might arguably be considered more offensive. And at least Ms W does not have a romantic effect matching that of Ms Hingis. That's all I can say in her defence.

The sisters met each other in the French final a decade ago, beginning their greatest streak of domination when Serena defeated Venus in four major finals running. Neither had been to the FO final before or has made it since. But there isn't any clear favourite to take the #2 on clay spot of the post-Graf era (the marvelous psychodrama in which Steffi won her final major in 1999 when Ms Hingis had a mental breakdown on court still wins polls for favourite FO final) behind Justine Henin.

In fairness to Ms Graf, she was at one time the biggest server then on tour, though obviously both Williams sisters have advanced that particular distinction past recognition. And the Graf game was constructed for the daunting purpose of dismantling the most successful juggernaut in women's (and possibly overall) tennis history, the Evert-Navratilova rivalry. Recalling not just that she did so but how she executed very deliberate and very different game plans against each, I can't write off how she'd do against a contemporary Ms (S) Williams. Weirdly, though, my favourite memory of Ms Graf is how at the same time she won her first title and defeated Ms Evert, Mr Nicklaus was winning his last Masters. She rallied from 0-4 down in the second set at almost the exact time in which he had his eagle-birdie-birdie run from four strokes behind on the back nine.

On the men's side, I well recall the Sampras-Ivanisevic Wimbledon final in which the number of points on which the ball was hit more than four times was exactly ONE. But then, had it not been for that final, they might not have slowed the court to the extent that produced the 2008 final, the last and greatest match in the three-year run of the Nadal-Federer French-Wimbledon double.
61
Caroline Wozniaki is a garbage player. All she does is whack balls back into play, no power, no intelligence, no finesse...just a stupid horse toothed backboard. Caroline annoys the hay out of the true tennis purest, much like Sara Errani, just without the "ahhhh-HEYYYY" extra annoying yelling she does.

If you lot think Caroline is an amazing player you are crazy, she has never won a slam and only became #1 trolling the small tournaments with an unhealthy Serena and Venus at the time. She is more interested being a blonde than being a top top player...and no one respects that, we just say nice things to be polite whilst quietly waiting for her to fade into the background.

Right now she is playing Li Na in Miami and you can see how annoyed Li is at her stupid return game. Caroline please go home and suck on monkey faced Rory Macelsford.