Grammy Award-winning Motown legend Gladys Knight said she is not offended by being mistaken for fellow singer and actor Dionne Warwick after sports broadcasters misidentified the musicians during Wednesday’s US Open match between Serena Williams and Anett Kontaveit.
“Dionne and I have been sisters for a long time, and I hope she is as honored to be mistaken for me as I would be her,” Knight said in a statement to NBC News. “I’m sure it was an honest mistake. It was a blessing to be in the house to see Serena’s greatness from her.
Warwick, however, poked fun at the obvious mistake.
“Hi, I’m Gladys Knight… and instead of taking that midnight train to Georgia, I won’t walk on by but will say a little prayer for you,” she tweeted.
Chanda Rubin, a Black sports broadcaster and former tennis star, acknowledged in a tweet Wednesday night that she misidentified Warwick in the crowd of spectators, referring to her as Knight, who was also in attendance at Arthur Ashe Stadium. In the tweet, Rubin explained that the mistake occurred when she was looking at the tennis court where Knight was sitting and not at the program monitor that showed Warwick. Rubin’s co-host Mary Castillo also wrongly identified Warwick.
In the clip from the telecast, which has garnered over 2.3 million views, Rubin is heard saying, “Oh, got some more stars,” with the camera focused on Warwick.
Castillo then responds, “Gladys Knight,” which Rubin quickly echoes.
In an email to NBC News, Castillo seemingly dismissed her error.
“I’ve met her, multiple times,” Castillo wrote about Knight. “She’s great. Stupid discussion.” She also added a screenshot of the singer’s tweet in response to the incident.
Rubin did not respond to NBC News’ request for comment.
The broadcasters’ mistake sparked a wave of backlash, with many going on social media to criticize the commenters.
Williams defeated Kontaveit in the match Wednesday in what could be her final tournament after announcing in August her plans to walk away from the sport.
The viral clip comes just days after actor Laverne Cox responded online to being mistaken for Beyoncé at the US Open.
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