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GQ Magazine In Hot Water Over Controversial Serena Williams Front Cover

Tennis superstar Serena Williams has been caught in the middle of a social media storm after appearing on the front cover of GQ magazine.

The respected international men’s publication selected the 37-year-old, who has captured 23 Grand Slam titles in her illustrious career, as their sole woman of the year. She was joined by male honourees, director of the year, Jonah Hill, as well as actors Henry Golding (star of the year) and Michael B. Jordan (leader of the year).

GQ‘s decision to put quote marks around the word “woman” sparked outrage on social media. Some critics argued the use of the inverted commas were linked to ugly accusations surrounding Williams’ gender.

GQ copped an angry response on social media after using the word ''woman'' to describe Serena Williams.
AP
GQ copped an angry response on social media after using the word ”woman” to describe Serena Williams.

“Someone I follow pointed out that @GQMagazine decided to put woman in quotes on Serena’s cover and I too am offended and disgusted knowing the gender slights and digs people still throw at @serenawilliams,” one upset Twitter user posted.

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Actor Gal Gadot was GQ’s woman of the year for 2017. Writer E. Alex Jung let a simple comparison do the talking, by putting Serena’s cover next to Gadot’s.

Williams’ muscular physique has been a polarising topic throughout her brilliant career, littered with titles. She admitted in an interview in 2018 that the derogative taunts were cruel and had affected her at times.

“People would say I was born a guy, all because of my arms, or because I’m strong,” she told Business Insider. “I was different to [sister] Venus: She was thin and tall and beautiful, and I am strong and muscular – and beautiful, but, you know, it was just totally different.”

Williams has been at the centre of heated public debate already this year.

She fired up at the chair umpire during the US Open final with Japan’s Naomi Osaka, which divided opinions around the world over whether she was treated unfairly because of her gender.

Australian cartoonist Mark Knight published a caricature of Williams having a tantrum while jumping on her racket in the Herald Sunnewspaper, which went viral, causing further anger.

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Written by How Africa

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