An apparently innocent tweet from US animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) used what at first blush seemed like questionable wording in a post congratulating Serena Williams for her winning Sportswoman of the Year at the Black Entertainment Awards (BETs).
Given the history of black people being compared to animals, especially those of the simian kind, Peta tweeting something like that on the night of an award show dedicated to African-Americans made some people uncomfortable.
Predictably, the well-meaning Peta was flooded with furious posts about the tweet’s supposedly racist connotations – which turns out to be something of a major overreaction once one learns that Williams is vegan, something Peta believes animals might appreciate about the tennis champion.
Peta has not yet responded to the backlash.
Have a look at some of the outrage below:
I refuse to believe you just typed these words out and your brain didn't stop you
— s (@sidddorable) June 27, 2016
I bet you're voting for trump
— Bobbi Heenan (@DeeDeeJonee) June 27, 2016
Because you just functionally called her fans animals, and by extension Williams.
— SocialJustice XMorph (@sjxmorph) June 27, 2016
slippery slope… Better word choice please!!!
— Inspirationislimited (@FolukeO) June 27, 2016
— Ella Minnope (@PluckyChicken) June 27, 2016
please explain this tweet
— Ursula (@urs561) June 27, 2016
Serena needs to twitpic a response to PETA eating a bucket of fried chicken
— i, e. (@The1TheyCall_E) June 28, 2016
With all that has been said about Serena Williams' features and Black women in general PETA thought that tweet was cute to post? OH.
— Beyonce’s Neo (@HustleAndFro_) June 27, 2016
Fortunately, we had these people to clear things up:
— Redi Tlhabi (@RediTlhabi) June 27, 2016
horrible word choice, lol. I know in the past Serena has made animal free products, so charity maybe??
— Melissa_LockHimUp (@MelissaNtheEast) June 27, 2016
Sigh, black people are too fast in the US. Most likely Serena Williams give some of the largest donations to @peta. Relax people, relax
— Gunga Peas (@Nuubion) June 27, 2016
Lol, PETA is hot trash but also that's also not an excuse for ignorance ???????????? https://t.co/dOq5L60zpU
— Gugulethu Mhlungu (@GugsM) June 28, 2016