Serena Williams Checks Reporter For Criticizing Her Play At Australian Open: “You Should Apologize”
Despite winning both of their second-round matches at the Australian Open this week, the focus on the success of both Venus and Serena Williams during the tournament has been shifted due to questionable comments made by reporters that have a lot of people talking.
Serena beat Czech star Lucie Safarova 6-3, 6-4 during play on Wednesday. While she didn’t steamroll Safarova, she played well. At least, Serena thought she did.
When a reporter during a post-game press chat called her play “scrappy,” as in, “disorganized, untidy,” the tennis legend told him he should apologize for being rude.
The exchange went like this according to the New York Times‘s Ben Rothenberg (who called Serena’s play “hella sharp” by the way):
As for Venus, she managed to cruise to victory over Switzerland’s Stefanie Voegele. During their match, her style of play at the time was compared to a gorilla by ESPN commentator Doug Adler. You read that correctly, and you already know how I feel about White folks comparing Black people to primates.
He was captured saying “You see Venus move in and put the gorilla effect on. Charging.” You can hear his brief commentary below:
There could be a chance that Adler meant “guerilla,” as in impromptu, and not “gorilla,” but clarification won’t make his comments sound much better to those who were critical of them on yesterday.
Unfortunately, both women have been the focus of all types of ugly commentary throughout their careers, from statements about their bodies, particularly, Serena’s, their looks and to the way they carry themselves on the court. While neither Adler or the reporter in question may have meant harm, it’s about time more people were called out for negativity aimed at the stars, who haven’t done anything — but win.
Images via WENN