Caroline Wozniacki, the former No. 1-ranked female tennis player in the world, has been labeled a racist for an impersonation of her rival Serena Williams. It's an international phenomenon that has popped up everywhere in every type of media, including television talk show "The View."
The act in question occurred during an exhibition match in Brazil against Maria Sharapova.
Neither Wozniacki or Williams commented after being contacted by ABCNews.com, according to Luchina Fisher of the site. However, ABC did get a reply out of the Wozniacki camp.
“It was all in good fun as Serena is one of her closest friends on tour,” Williams’ representative said.
Wozniacki is very close friends with Williams and was poking fun at her friend. She wasn’t making a statement about her friend’s race or ethnicity. She was acting humorously like many tennis players around the world do. They poke fun at one another like most all of us do.
This isn’t the first time she’s done it, either. What was different about her publicly poking fun at her friend this time that wasn’t present the last time it happened, in 2011?
As human beings we are all on this planet together. Our circumstances and history may not be the same, but we should all agree that humor is an essential part of life. It helps make us human.
What happens when a person stops being able to laugh at him or herself?
Sure, Wozniacki could have displayed better taste and sent a picture privately to Williams if she wanted to make a joke. But in this new digital world that photo could be duplicated and spread around the world just as quickly as a television broadcast, even if it had been intended for a more private audience.
As public figures, everything these athletes do is open to scrutiny. Wozniacki is not above that, but shouldn’t be subject to the same negativity as people with malicious intent behind their actual racist feelings and expressions.
After all, if she did not understand that she would cause harm with her actions, she is not morally to blame. However, offended parties have every right to interpret events from their own perspective.
In a perfect world, we would all understand one another and strive to keep everything in good taste. Context is everything.
Wozniacki’s impersonation of Williams was a joke between friends, it was insensitive, it was of bad taste and it was made with no malicious intent.
It was a lot of things, but it wasn’t intentionally racist.
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