The New York Times made a big mistake in their print edition and the tennis world is not forgiving, including Serena Williams. The newspaper put a photo of Venus Williams in an article talking about Serena and even though they apologized, the mistake cannot be forgotten.
Writing about Serena’s investment firm Serena Ventures that raised $111 million to invest in founders with diverse points of view, The NY Times illustrated the article with a photo of the tennis star’s older sister Venus.
Serena chose not to stay silent and called them out on Twitter:
No matter how far we come, we get reminded that it’s not enough. This is why I raised $111 million for Serena Ventures. To support the founders who are overlooked by engrained systems woefully unaware of their biases. Because even I am overlooked. You can do better, NY Times.
No matter how far we come, we get reminded that it’s not enough. This is why I raised $111M for @serenaventures. To support the founders who are overlooked by engrained systems woefully unaware of their biases. Because even I am overlooked. You can do better, @nytimes. pic.twitter.com/hvfCl5WUoz
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) March 2, 2022
The newspaper admitted the unforced error and explained:
This was our mistake. It was due to an error when selecting photos for the print edition, and it did not appear online. A correction will appear in tomorrow’s paper.
Reading the comments on Twitter, the apology didn’t satisfy the Twitter community. Here are just some reactions:
“This is insane, I’m sure they would never mistake Sharapova for Azarenka or vice-versa.”
“NYT really said ‘they all look the same’ out loud and in print.”
“You cannot tell me that there is not one person at The NY Times that doesn’t know the difference between Venus and Serena. Shame on The NY Times for the blatant disrespect.”
Ouch. I would have expected this from the New York Post. NOT the Times!!!
They are sisters and in some photos they do look alike, especially when it’s just a head shot. Otherwise it’s easy to see Venus is taller and slimmer. However even if it’s not racism it’s an elementary journalistic error not to double check. Or use a different photo where you are sure.
I can very easily see differences between them, even just in head shots. I wouldn’t say that racism is behind this. I think it’s just shallow journalism. Someone who doesn’t follow tennis was in charge of selecting the pic.