Australian Open Criticized For Pitting Black Women Against Each Other During Black History Month

Illustration for article titled Australian Open Criticized For Pitting Black Women Against Each Other During Black History Month

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA—Calling tournament organizers tone-deaf for their scheduling of the semifinal matchup, critics slammed the Australian Open Wednesday for pitting Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka against each other during Black History Month. “We expected tournament organizers to make efforts to lift up all Black women instead of tearing one of them down,” said WTA Tour fan Cheryl Landry, reprimanding the major championship for deciding against celebrating both Williams and Osaka. “We have two worthy champions here, and instead of crowning them both, we’re casting them against each other. It’s just a shame. Young girls are going to see this and watch one of their icons lose—it could be potentially traumatizing.” At press time, the Australian Open responded to criticism by opting to play the remaining tournament matches at Arthur Ashe stadium in New York.