A sports reporter has reportedly issued an apology after receiving criticism for asking is Serena Williams was “intimidated” by her rival Maria Sharpova’s “super model good looks.”
Ben Simmons of Inside Tennis magazine issued his statement on June 3, saying, “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.”
He also gave instances of good deeds in support of his apology. “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.),” he added.
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.
— Ryan Bathe (@michellechel) June 4, 2018
Simmons’ original question used Donald Trump’s 2004 comment, in which he stated that Williams was intimidated by Sharapova’s beauty. “And then he came up with this extraordinary analysis: That you were intimidated by her supermodel good looks,” he said at the time. “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.”
While the tennis champion appeared to be unbothered, her husband Alexis Ohanian responded to the reporter’s comment on Twitter on June 3, writing, “wait at least another 14 more years before asking another question.”
Serena Williams has constantly been criticized for her body and fashion sense throughout her entire career. In her recent cover story with Harper’s Bazaar, the athlete admitted that it has been “hard” enduring body shaming, but she has learned to live with it and celebrate her figure. “This is me, and this is my weapon and machine.”