Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Editor's Letter: The Curious Case Of White Sympathy In Sport

Society has always revelled in playing women off against each other. A storyline of woman vs woman has drawn in viewers to TV shows, sold papers, magazines, books and boosted shares of videos across social media platforms.

Like all female feuds that come into the spotlight, the media and the public alike, align themselves with one side. The media often dictates who is the innocent party and the woman that we should sympathise with and the public often follows the narrative without question. 

When thinking of "female feuds," the media have pitted Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams against each other, like no other pairing in recent memory in a bid to sell papers, magazines and receive page views. Every time the pair meet on the court, it marked as another chapter in their great rivalry, which is in all honesty is unfair to Serena who has won 19 of their 21 matches. Yet the unfairness of this pairing doesn’t just stop in the framing of their sporting abilities as competitive. The way they are described in the media often, if not always, carries an overwhelming amount of favouritism for Sharapova.