The Tasmanian football club at the centre of a Mad Monday black face controversy has released a statement on the matter.
The Penguin Football Club has “apologised unreservedly” after three of its players donned blacked black face at the end of season celebrations, dressing up as American tennis stars Serena and Venus Williams, as well as Swans star Aliir Aliir.
“It was not their intention to upset anyone and all they meant to do was dress as one of their sporting idols,” the Penguin FC club statement read.
“Their actions were never intended to be racist in any way.
“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 players concerned have acknowledged that what they did was completely and utterly unacceptable and would like to apologise unreservedly for their lack of judgement.
“The club will now work to implement strategies to avoid a similar situation in the future.”
The incident occurred just a week after the Herald Sun’s ‘racist’ cartoon about Serena went global.
Beau Grundy uploaded the photo to a Facebook page called ‘Mad Monday’, pictured with two other players from the Tasmanian Penguins Football Club, and made it his profile picture.
The caption read: “Williams sisters and Aliir Aliir #madmonday”.
Aliir Aliir is one of a number of South Sudanese players in the AFL, while the Williams sisters are two of the greatest tennis players in the sport’s history.
The picture was removed from Grundy’s profile later on Wednesday.
Social media users were quick to hammer the football players for continuing a long line of blackface embarrassments in Australia’s local sporting ranks.
“Really don’t know how this still happens. I’m also getting really sick of white people saying it’s not racist. You’ve never been racially vilified, therefore shut up!” tweeted @orileynicholas.
“Not at all surprised to see this. Are we to be met with the usual “didn’t mean to cause offence” or “didn’t know it was racist” fake apologies? Beau Grundy and co need to be shamed for this,” tweeted speak clearly.
“Not understanding #blackface or not agreeing against it isn’t a good enough excuse anymore. But to save yaself some “harassment” from the “overly-sensitive”, just choose another costume. Simple. Try blue-facing & go as a smurf,” @Gavin_Ingham tweeted.
Oh look: a mere week after that racist cartoon of Serena Williams, another blackface scandal hits the Australian press bc white dudes decided to "dress up" like her. Meanwhile, three Aboriginal people died in custody in the same time period. What a nation of racist slow learners.
— Celeste Liddle (@Utopiana) September 19, 2018
Just when you thought we could relax because Australia at least hasn't had a blackface situation for a while…. along comes Tasmania to save the day.
— MGH (@MichelleGHunder) September 19, 2018
@PenguinTwoBlues do you have a comment about the players in your team wearing ‘black-face’..? Disgusting. They should be stood down immediately and permanently. Unless you support racists?
Let this team know what you think about the latest display of repulsive racism. #blackface
— Hayley (@speakcleary) September 19, 2018