Serena Williams' GQ 'Woman Of The Year' Cover Sparks Controversy

Brenda Watkins
November 14, 2018

The magazine announced its annual men of the year on Monday, unveiling three covers for each man - Michael B. Jordan, Henry Golding and Jonah Hill.

Williams' cover, in particular, sparked some controversy because it featured the Woman of the Year title with "Woman" in quotations - a move that GQ says is purely artistic but some have considered disrespectful to Williams.

The representation of her as a "woman" has drawn some criticism, particularly in the U.S., as the debate around race and gender intensifies, with drawing direct comparison to Gal Gadot's equivalent cover past year.

It has drawn criticism on social media, with many Twitter users questioning the use of the punctuation.

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Chasing a record-equaling 24th major, Williams lost in both finals, falling to a straight-sets defeat to Anqelique Kerber at Wimbledon and a controversial loss to Naomi Osaka at Flushing Meadows, where she was docked a game after calling the umpire a "thief". Abloh, who is the chief executive officer of Milan-based fashion house Off-White, is known for creating designs that utilize quotation marks around specific words. "I was different to Venus: She was thin and tall and lovely, and I am strong and muscular - and handsome, but, you know, it was just totally different", Serena said.

Dropping hints about what Serena talked about during the interview, the magazine, which described her as the Champion of the year said, "No matter how you cut it, Serena Williams had a remarkable year".

It is therefore constantly implied because of her success, race and looks she is "like a man" or actually a man playing on the women's tennis circuit to win titles. Abloh's brand Off White prominently features words written in between quotation marks.

"I've been called man because I appeared outwardly strong", she wrote.

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