Tasmanian footballers in Mad Monday ‘blackface’ incident

The three Tasmanian Penguin Football Club players in their blackface outfits. Pic Beau GrundyMore

Mad Monday is where Aussie Rules player traditionally celebrate their end of the season.

The incident comes just weeks after a cartoonist for Melbourne's Herald Sun, Mark Knight, sparked global outrage for a racist portrayal of Williams following the controversy at the U.S. Open, where she was fined and penalized for her language when speaking with the umpire over allegations of cheating by communicating with her coach off court.

Beau Grundy, who plays for the Australian rules Tasmanian Penguin Football Club, posted pictures of the three men to his Facebook page.

Grundy dressed as Sydney Swans AFL player Aliir Aliir in a red uniform, flanked on either side by Mitch Stanley and Matt Chamberlain as Serena and Venus Williams in curly black wigs and tennis whites.

After a backlash on social media, Grundy removed the photos from his Facebook page.

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"We will be working with the league and club to get more information and to see how we can assist in providing education for the players", a spokesperson said in a statement to The Sydney Morning Herald. Do you have a comment about the players in your team wearing "black-face".? "Those concerned have been reprimanded and will be given support to make sure they understand that their behaviour was racist and hurtful and that it will not happen again". "Let this team know what you think about the latest display of repulsive racism".

The incident follows the controversy surrounding Australian newspaper The Herald Sun's mean-spirited crusade against Serena Williams after the American's outburst at the 2018 US Open final. A photo of the trio was posted in the, which has over 120,000 followers, but the picture was quickly deleted.

News of the photo has prompted the same kind of reactions we've come to expect from those who are exhausted by the fact people still use black paint to impersonate black people, despite the well-established knowledge it is inextricably tied to harmful and racist representations of black people.

The incident is the second in the space of a week in Australia which involves Serena Williams and accusations of racism, after Herald Sun cartoonist Mark Knight was scrutinised internationally for his portrayal of the U.S. tennis player. "Their actions were never meant to be racist in any way", the Tasmanian football club told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in a statement.

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