Serena Williams And Virgil Abloh Spark Controversy Over GQ Cover

Sergio Cunningham
November 14, 2018

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

Williams returned from maternity leave this year and reached the final of both Wimbledon and the US Open.

Williams, the WTA's 2018 Comeback Player of the Year, is ranked No. 16 in the world, with relatively few points to defend in the first half of 2019.

However the word woman is written with quotes around it, and that hasn't sat well with fans.

Every year, the magazine crowns several males as "Men of the Year" and features some of them on collectible covers.

"Someone I follow pointed out that @GQMagazine chose 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", an upset fan tweeted.

Gal Gadot, the actress who plays Wonder Woman, received the honors a year ago without the quotes.

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Abloh's designs typically feature quote marks, including on some of the Nike apparel he has worked on for Williams.

Do YOU think GQ should say "sorry" for this cover?

The social media buzz was off base, considering the magazine tried to explain it beforehand, but it taps into a hot button issue not only in today's society but in Williams' career.

If anyone's deserving of GQ's Woman of the Year honor, it's 23-time Grand Slam tennis champion Serena Williams. Ridiculous conspiracies litter the internet.

When fans saw the magazine and how Off-White designer and guest creative director Virgil Abloh placed the handwritten word woman in quotation marks, they cried foul, according to The Independent.

"I've been called man because I appeared outwardly strong", she wrote in a post addressed to her mother. "(No, I just work hard and I was born with this badass body and proud of it)", Serena wrote.

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