Monday, July 4, 2022

‘Sexist’ Journalist Issues Apology for Asking Serena Williams If She’s ‘Intimidated’ by Maria Sharapova’s Beauty

*Serena Williams announced her withdrawal from the French Open due to injury ahead of her highly anticipated match against rival Maria Sharapova.

“It’s extremely disappointing,” Williams said during a news conference at Roland Garros. “But also, I made a promise to myself and to my coach and to my team that if I’m not at least 60 percent or 50 percent, then I probably shouldn’t play.”

Prior to her announcement, a journalist drew ire on social media after asking the tennis champion if she was intimidated by Sharapova’s looks.

Bill Simons of Inside Tennis magazine is backtracking his comments after social media slammed him in Williams’ defense.

In case you missed it, Simons said: “After the 2004 Wimbledon match with Maria, I had the opportunity to interview Donald Trump on his [Los Angeles] golf course, and he said that Maria’s shoulders were incredibly alluring.

“And then he came up with this extraordinary analysis: That you were intimidated by her supermodel good looks. My question is: Have you ever been intimidated by anyone on a tennis court, and what are your thoughts about the occurrence?”

Williams replied: “I honestly don’t have any thoughts about that. I can’t say I have been intimidated by anyone. That’s all. That’s it.”

Then he added, “Work with me here, please. We’re in this together, baby.”

OTHER NEWS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: Serena Williams Responds to Trump’s Claim That She’s ‘Intimidated’ by Maria Sharapova’s ‘Supermodel Good Looks’

The sports journalist has since apologized for his condescending “baby” comment and asking if she was intimated by Sharapova because of her “alluring” shoulders.

“I apologize if my awkward ques seemed 2 empower Trump or attack Serena/ I SO admire her/ I’ve spent [my] lifetime fighting racism/ sexism/ homophobia,” Simons wrote.

“Started campaign to name US Open Stad 4 Ashe/ Lobbied long 2 get Serena 2 return to I. Wells/ Called out police violence vs Blake/ I’m so sorry (sic.)”

Meanwhile, fans did not take kindly to the comments, peep some of their reactions below:

“All of these things can be true and you can still have an enormous blind spot about the intersection of race and gender and how your question was disappointing AT BEST. And all of the things you’ve done make your question worse. U should know better.”

Another said: “Why ask the person with an [overwhelming] record of victory over someone else if she is the one who is intimidated? Please take the pic of Serena Williams off of your profile.”

Williams scored her first major win since giving birth to her daughter in September at the 2018 French Open. She beat Kristyna Pliskova 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 in the tournament’s first round, and she partly credits her killer black catsuit for the win.

“All the moms out there who had a tough pregnancy and had to come back and try to be fierce in the middle of everything. I think that’s what this represents. It’s exciting. I think the catsuit is—you can’t beat a catsuit, right?,” she said during a post-match interview with The Tennis Channel.

She shared some inspiring words for her fans on social media and dedicated her win and the Nike catsuit to the moms of the world.

“Catsuit anyone? For all the moms out there who had a tough recovery from pregnancy—here you go. If I can do it, so can you. Love you all!!,” she posted.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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