“Insensitive And Extremely Sexist”: Serena Williams Responds To Russian Tennis Official’s Offensive Comments

October 20, 2014  |  

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.”

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