The West responded with indignant outrage at Russia hacking into the files and publishing the private and confidential medical records of Simone Biles and the Williams sisters. As much as I appreciated the response from the West, white establishments have continually persecuted Black women including Biles and the Williams sisters. Therefore, I agree with Russia that there are double standards in the West, but not for the same reasons. The West’s defence of Black women is politically convenient. What I heard them saying was ‘Oi Russia, Biles & Williams are our darkies. We can insult them, not you.’
Serena is probably the greatest female athlete. She only became the highest earner this year. Russia’s Maria Sharapova, the number two player, was the highest earner for 11 consecutive years. Sharapova had the most lucrative sponsorship contracts until a doping scandal. Serena has never received the same deals because she is Black.
Some attributed the disparity to an outburst in the 2009 US Open when Serena cursed a lineswoman for calling a foot fault. The lineswoman told the umpire that Serena threatened to kill her. Journalists close to the action heard Serena say ‘You better *** be right.’ and ‘I’m going to shove this *** ball down your *** throat.’ Neither are a death threat.
Bad calls and cussing are standard in tennis, but it doesn’t sit around the neck of white players for a lifetime. However, the white world has Black women in freeze frame as ‘angry Black women.’
Simone is arguably the greatest woman gymnast of all time. She is the only consecutive three-time reigning World all-around champion. Simone dominated the Olympics. She holds the most gold gymnastic medals. Simone is famous. So how did the Philadelphia Daily News manage to mistake Simone Biles for Gabby Douglas in a photo? Well, they are both Black and gymnasts.
After losing the World Championship, Italian gymnast Carlotta Ferlito quipped ‘Next time we should also paint our skin Black, so then we could win, too.’ Rather than apologise for this outrageous comment, David Ciaralli, Italian Gymnastics Federation spokesperson, wrote; the ‘gymnastics trend is opening chances for colored people (known to be more powerful) and penalising the typical Eastern European elegance’.
Eastern Europeans dominated gymnastics because they were powerful and athletic. Tatiana Gutsu’s powerful and spirited performance trounced the artistic performance of American Shannon Miller in 1992! Canadian, Victoria Moors double twisting double somersault in the floor exercise remains one of the most powerful elements. However, when the power belongs to Black women, there is a problem.
Middle Distance Running
Allegations that she is a man or not woman enough plague Caster Semenya. Just before she ran to victory at the World Athletics Championship 2009, she was forced to undergo a gender verification test. Somebody leaked her result, and the press had a field day. Pierre Weisse general secretary for athletics [IAAF] responded ‘She is a woman, but maybe not 100 percent.’
Britain’s Lynsey Sharp is one of many who has dogged Caster’s life. She was tearful at finishing sixth in Rio. She said ‘everyone can see’ the difference between athletes with the hyperandrogenism and those without it. However, there is no scientific evidence that a woman who produces more testosterone has a physical advantage over another woman.
Russia’s Mariya Savinova Olympic gold medallist and alleged drug cheat sneered ‘just look at her.’ I think we should look at Caster in contrast with Czech middle distant runner Jarmila Kratochvilova. Jarmila at age 32 set the world record for the 800 metres in 1983. It is the longest-standing individual world record in athletics. Jarmila set this record just 30 minutes after running the 400 metres! If we apply the argument that a woman should look like a woman, then Jarmila looks like a White man (photo above). There appears to be no record of public outrage or scrutiny over her appearance! That is reserved for fast Black Women.
Oi Russia, Black Women Biles & Williams Are Our Darkies
Russia should be called out for their illegal and despicable conduct, but the critics are not the friends of Black women. White establishments dehumanise, brutalise and ridicule Black women. They need to stop this behaviour, in and out of sport, if they honestly and sincerely want to show solidarity with Black women. We are not expendable pawns on a political chessboard, and the defence of these sporting greats does not make Black women the gratefully oppressed.
Connect with me on Twitter
Follow my blog on Bloglovin’
Serena Williams Outburst 2009 US Open click on the link