Culture

Please Reset Your ‘Days Since Australia Has Had A Blackface Incident’ Counter To Zero

This happens only days after THAT Serena Williams cartoon.

Blackface Tasmania

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Three players posing for a photo in blackface has put a Tasmanian football club under pressure to punish the players responsible.

In a now-deleted Facebook post, two players dressed up as tennis superstars Serena and Venus Williams, while another posed as Sydney Swans AFL player Aliir Aliir.

The players belong to AFL side Penguin FC, which represents the seaside town of Penguin, in north Tasmania.

The football players were dressing up for a Mad Monday party. Mad Monday is a term used to refer to end-of-season celebrations for a bunch of different sports codes in Australia — you might remember the headlines from last week of Bulldogs players being snapped on a drunken night out for their Mad Monday celebrations.

AFL Tasmania released a statement saying that they would be open to educating players.

“We don’t condone [blackface] and it isn’t in keeping with our values,” the statement read. “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.”

This is the first high profile blackface incident in Australia since June. Back in June, a group of students from Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga dressed up in blackface and KKK uniforms for an exam time party, and were later disciplined by the university.

They too posted photos on social media of their dress up.

And at the end of last year, Brisbane partygoers were roundly criticised for posting photos of themselves in blackface; in 2016, Opals player Alice Kunek was slammed on social media after she dressed in blackface at a party, and was swiftly called out by her teammate Liz Cambage.

On Twitter, users were quick to point out that Australia’s record with racism looked particularly poor after a week where we made international headlines for Mark Knight’s cartoon depiction of Serena Williams in the Herald Sun.

And others resigned themselves to the reality that blackface incidents were all too common in Australia.

Indigenous Australians in Tasmania were almost entirely wiped out when British colonialists arrived in 1803. Over the next three decades, over 90 percent died: either through spreading disease or killings.