Magazine under fire over Serena Williams cover

GQ Magazine is facing backlash after a cover showcasing professional tennis player Serena Williams, who was named GQ's Woman of the Year, had the word "woman" in quotes.

Posted: Nov 14, 2018 11:51 PM
Updated: Nov 15, 2018 12:15 AM

Tennis great Serena Williams has been named GQ's Woman of the Year -- but the magazine's cover has caused a stir on social media with many questioning why "Woman" was in quotes.

The 37-year-old, called "The Champion" by the magazine, features in one of four covers of December's 'Men of the Year' issue wearing a black long-sleeve turtleneck leotard.

GQ, which first made women part of its Men of the Year honorees in 2003, included the American alongside actors Michael B Jordan, Henry Golding and Jonah Hill.

Visit cnn.com/sport for more news and videos

In February, Williams told CNN she almost died giving birth to her daughter last year, yet within months she was back training and returned to the sport earlier this year, reaching both the Wimbledon and US Open finals.

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."

GQ's cover has sparked controversy on Twitter, however. Many users seemed unaware that the typography was handwritten by designer Virgil Abloh, who uses quotation marks in his work. Abloh collaborated with Williams and Nike for the player's US Open outfit which featured "Serena" in quotations on her trainers and "Logo" on her tutu dress.

GQ has not responded to CNN, but in a Twitter thread Mick Rouse, research manager for GQ, according to his Twitter bio, tweeted: "Because it was handwritten by Virgil Abloh of Off-White, who has styled everything in quotation marks as of late (see Serena's US Open apparel that he designed)."

Last year, in an open letter on reddit, Williams wrote about being called a man because of her muscular physique, writing: "I've been called man because I appeared outwardly strong ... It has been said I don't belong in women's sports -- that I belong in men's -- because I look stronger than many other women do. (No, I just work hard and I was born with this baddass body and proud of it.)"

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1686993

Reported Deaths: 48247
CountyCasesDeaths
Queens2172658903
Kings2169639239
Suffolk1658793120
Nassau1519702951
Bronx1482105943
Westchester1099512122
New York1068643974
Erie666041616
Richmond585451602
Monroe53274997
Rockland39546896
Orange38029730
Onondaga32733636
Dutchess22900413
Albany21180334
Oneida19896481
Niagara15508315
Broome15384339
Saratoga12190148
Schenectady11010178
Ulster10279231
Rensselaer9205132
Putnam853986
Chautauqua7425125
Chemung6480130
Oswego610689
Ontario589890
St. Lawrence568990
Steuben5581138
Cayuga542889
Jefferson489163
Sullivan486360
Herkimer4601107
Wayne452865
Cattaraugus448977
Genesee4473118
Madison389385
Clinton376127
Livingston359956
Tompkins350943
Columbia344396
Fulton342485
Montgomery3244107
Cortland323160
Allegany292481
Warren290755
Wyoming287949
Tioga285456
Greene270071
Chenango248770
Orleans247282
Otsego247043
Washington239754
Franklin216012
Lewis209630
Seneca164853
Delaware157333
Essex136326
Schoharie124313
Yates102326
Schuyler87212
Hamilton2852
Unassigned16099
Out of NY0194
Rome
Clear
20° wxIcon
Hi: 26° Lo: 5°
Feels Like: 7°
Binghamton
Partly Cloudy
22° wxIcon
Hi: 28° Lo: 11°
Feels Like: 13°
Rome
Clear
20° wxIcon
Hi: 27° Lo: 8°
Feels Like: 7°
Rome
Clear
20° wxIcon
Hi: 21° Lo: -2°
Feels Like: 7°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Foodie Fridays Rosa's 50% 0ff - Now thru March 18
Submit your Mutt Madness Picture through March 10th
March into Beautiful Skin Giveaway
Under 100 2021 Golf Cards left!
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve