'Unacceptable': Aussie footballers' blackface as Williams sisters sparks fresh racism storm

Sept 8 2018 New York NY USA 
Serena Williams of the USA talks to chair umpire after a code violation for coaching while playing Naomi Osaka of Japan in the womenís final on day thirteen of the 2018 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean Ki

The photo was taken as part of the Mad Monday celebrations - which, no, doesn't inspire one to go mad and momentarily forget that blackface is offensive and disgusting, but rather commemorate the end of the AFL's current season.

Aussie footballers" blackface as Williams sisters sparks fresh racism storm (PHOTOS) As the racism row over Serena Williams' cartoon depiction in an Australian newspaper rolls on, Aussie footballers have sparked outrage by "blacking up' as the 23-time Grand Slam victor and her sister Venus in a fancy dress prank.

Three players from the Penguin Football Club were photographed in their Serena and Venus Williams, and Kenyan-born Sydney Swans AFL player Aliir Aliir, costumes at a Mad Monday celebration.

According to HuffPost, the players apologized and have been reprimanded, but Penguin Football Club attempted to defend the players by stating they "never meant to be racist in any way" and just wanted to dress like their sports idols.

A photo of the "costumes" was posted on social media and, though it has been removed from Facebook, it has been shared by a number of Twitter users.

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A spokesperson for AFL Tasmania also responded to the incident, telling SBS, "We don't condone [blackface] and it isn't in keeping with our values". "We will be working with the league and club to get more information and to see how week can assist in providing education to the players".

The athletes play for the Australian Rules Football team Penguin Football Club, a sports team based in Tasmania, according to The Washington Post.

The players have since apologized, while their club stated they were not aware the three "intended to dress in this manner" and that their behavior was "unacceptable in this day and age", HuffPost Australia reported. "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". The photo was uploaded to social media, but later deleted.

The row comes soon after an Australian newspaper cartoonist was accused of racism for his portrayal of Serena Williams following her defeat at the recent U.S. Open competition. You may recall Mark Knight's failed cartoon attempt to demean the acclaimed tennis player via Australian newspaper The Herald Sun.

Many said it was overtly racist, but in an article published on The Herald Sun website, Knight defended his work and said he was "amazed" it had received such a strong reaction.

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