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 game 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.”
However, Warwick poked fun at the obvious mistake.
“Hello, I’m Gladys Knight…and instead of taking that midnight train to Georgia I won’t walk by but say a little prayer for you,” she said tweeted.
Chanda Rubin, a black sports broadcaster and former tennis star, acknowledged in a tweet Wednesday night she misidentified Warwick in the crowd of onlookers, referring to her as Knight, who was also present at Arthur Ashe Stadium. In the tweet, Rubin explained that the error occurred when she was looking at the tennis court where Knight sat, not the program monitor Warwick was showing. Rubin’s co-host Mary Castillo also mistakenly identified Warwick.
In the clip from the broadcast, which has been viewed more than 2.3 million times, Rubin is heard saying, “Oh, have some more stars,” as the camera is pointed at Warwick.
Castillo then replies, “Gladys Knight,” which Rubin quickly repeats.
In an email to NBC News, Castillo seemingly dismissed her mistake.
“I’ve met her several times,” Castillo wrote of Knight. “She’s great. Stupid discussion.” She also added a screenshot of the singer 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 on social media criticizing the commentators.
Williams defeated Kontaveit in the game on Wednesday in what could be her last tournament, after announcing her plans to retire from the sport in August.
The viral clip comes just days after actor Laverne Cox reacted online because she was mistaken for Beyoncé at the US Open.