A few days ago, pro-tennis player Maria Sharapova recently announced she tested positive for drugs, meldonium to be exact. She has been suspended from international tennis for up to four years. Sponsors are pulling away their support. And the Russian sports community is up in arms over the scandal of one of their shining stars.
This has attracted considerable attention in the Western media as one of their foreign idols seems to have fallen from grace. This will probably be discussed at length in the Russian media, but that’s only speculation as I don’t know how the Russian media operates. Right now, her failing a doping test is major news in the West and around the world.
Still, Sharapova will still likely be forgiven by her fans. Her rival Serena Williams said that her admittance shows courage. She will be back playing tennis eventually. In the eyes of many, she’s still their role model. But right now, the international news media is fixated on this new scandal and is asking many questions.
Imagine how this would be if it was Serena, instead of Maria. No doubt, the media will pounce all over this. Since Serena is an American, this will most likely be extensively covered in the Western media outside just sports news. And since she’s African-American this will be yet another chapter in their negative stereotyping of black athletes that will end up ruining her career, perhaps permanently.
As of this moment, Sharapova is in hot water, and this is still a major news story. Speaking for myself, I’m glad this is not Serena Williams, or any black athlete, that’s currently in this much trouble. That may sound stupid and low, but when it comes to black role models, watching them fall from grace is as painful as being stabbed in the heart. We don’t have too many idols in the mainstream, and they must be better than perfect as to many people, they represent all black people, or else media hounds, like TMZ for example, will track them down and broadcast their fuck-ups and disappointments for the world to see strengthening negative stereotypes.