“Insensitive And Extremely Sexist”: Serena Williams Responds To Russian Tennis Official’s Offensive Comments
Russian Tennis Federation President Shamil Tarpischev was suspended on Saturday for one year by the Women’s Tennis Association after making inflammatory statements about the Williams sisters. During a talk show, Tarpischev called the Williams sisters, “brothers,” and said they are “frightening when you look at them.” Tarpischev will also have to pay a $25,000 fine for his commentary.
The Women Tennis Association did not take his remarks lightly, and noted them as “insulting, demeaning and have no place in our sport.” In a statement to the BBC, the outspoken sister of the Williams duo, Serena, said, “I thought they were very insensitive and extremely sexist as well as racist at the same time. I thought they were, in a way, bullying. I just wasn’t very happy with his comments. I think a lot of people weren’t happy as well.”
Tarpischev responded: “I didn’t want to offend any athlete with my words. I regret that this joke has garnered so much attention. I don’t think this incident deserves so much fuss.” He also added the Williams sisters were “outstanding athletes who personify strength and perseverance.”