World No.25 Dayana Yastremska has caused uproar in the tennis community after posting ‘blackface’ photos of herself in an attempt to promote equality.
The 20-year-old Ukrainian star deleted photos from her Instagram that portrayed her as topless with half her body black with the caption: “Equality”.
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Yastremska apologised after the photos prompted immediate backlash, but she stopped short of acknowledging the photos were ‘blackface’.
“Earlier today I posted pictures that I thought would spread a message of equality,” Yastremska wrote on her Instagram story.
“It clearly did not and has been misunderstood.
“I have been warned about the negative impact but I did not — and still don’t — consider it as blackface.
“I did not intend to caricature but to share my feelings about the current situation: we should all be treated as equal.
“I am so disappointed that my message has been corrupted: these pictures divided people when they were meant to unite. That’s why I deleted them.
“I sincerely apologise to all the people I have offended. I truly had only good intentions.”
Fans were able to take screenshots of the original post and slammed her for the idea.
welp it's gone but YEAH YASTREMSKA DID THAT pic.twitter.com/90VMsAtzTy
— kieran (@opthiemist) July 9, 2020
Tennis Universe: ATP is causing all the controversy during the COVID-19 suspension of play.
Dayana Yastremska: cOrNrOwS aNd bLacKfAce 4 eQuaLiTy
— Steve (@Ace_Previews) July 9, 2020
— Boston Gay Boy 🏳️🌈 (@BostonGayBoy) July 9, 2020
Big misstep by Dayana Yastremska on social media, yikes. The tennis world has completely lost the plot these last months...
— Jon Reid (@JReid416) July 9, 2020
Dayana Yastremska's first press conference back when the WTA Tour is going to be, erm, interesting
— Oli Dickson Jefford (@oliverdj1998) July 9, 2020
the fact you cant see how your post wouldnt spread equality is pretty insane to me, and just goes to show how uneducated you are. I suggest you research the history of blackface and really educate yourself as to why you were wrong because what you did was so insanely insensitive
— james (@anuscosgrove) July 9, 2020
Tennis under fire during coronavirus pandemic
The tennis world has been under scrutiny during the coronavirus pandemic with many of its top athletes under fire for behaviour.
World No.1 Novak Djokovic came under fire for hosting the Adria Tour after the Serbian, fellow Serb Viktor Troicki, Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov and Croatian Borna Coric all tested positive for the virus and the event had to be called off.
Alexander Zverev was also called out for his behaviour from Nick Kyrgios following the Adria Tour after the German was seen partying days after the event, despite the World No.7 claiming he would social-distance.