By AFRO Staff
Another day, another Black person misidentified as another—and not even a world-famous athlete is immune.
Tennis icon Serena Williams put the New York Times on blast recently after it published a story about her accompanied by a photo of her sister, Venus Williams.
“No matter how far we come, we get reminded that it’s not enough,” the sports legend said in a Twitter post, which included an image of the offending article.
The story, published in the March 2 print edition of the paper, highlighted Williams’ newest business endeavor – a venture capital firm aimed at investing in companies with diverse creators. The fund has raised an initial $111 million.
“This is why I raised $111M for @serenaventures,” the tennis star added. “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.”
The Times, often referred to as “the paper of record,” issued an apology on Twitter.
“This was our mistake,” the New York Times Business account tweeted. “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.”
But many paid the apology short shrift given the very public profiles of Venus and Serena Williams, who have been household names worldwide since they burst onto the professional tennis scene in 1994 and 1995, respectively.
And some said the incident points to a more deep-seated, pervasive issue—the lack of diversity in newsrooms and the media at large.
“Holy stating the obvious, Batman,” said Twitter user Secola Edwards in response to the Times’ claim that an “error” was made in selecting the photo. She added, “An ‘error’ that was missed by how many eyes on the way to final print and before distribution? From journalist to distribution, how many Black people had a hand in producing this piece? My guess is 0. There lies your problem.”
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