Serena Williams: champion tennis player, momma, and also a classy answer-giver at interviews.
Twitter got in a furor after a (understandably) cringey transcript of an interview with French Open 2018 grand slam champion Serena Williams was posted, and we’ll tell you, it had absolutely nothing to do with tennis.
The snippet of the interview is posted by Jeff Donaldson, social media coordinator at Tennis Canada:
I have never physically cringed as hard as when I read this in Serena’s transcript. Wow. pic.twitter.com/60wnSWG6En
— Jeff Donaldson (@jddtennis) June 2, 2018
The reporter in question here is Bill Simons of Inside Tennis, which describes itself as the “most compelling tennis magazine in America.”
Williams, who went up against Maria Sharapova, should have never been subjected to such a question which obviously, took more notice of looks rather skill, which she put in the kind of work that we won’t ever even begin to imagine.
Needless to say, it drew in an avalanche of reactions, mostly in support of Williams:
You are certain it was Bill Simmons because I don’t want to drag someone unnecessarily. You have the greatest female tennis player in history and you ask that TMZ level mess?!!! Men never get asked the kinds of questions the women are subjected to. Its annoying as hell.
— Eagles SB LII Champs 🇵🇷 (@TerpGrad01) June 2, 2018
To paraphrase her dad, “She told y’all she wasn’t intimidated by anybody. Now, take that as the actual answer and move on.”
— BrilliantBad&Boujee (@LOfficielEbony) June 3, 2018
Talk about being unprofessional. This is on another level.
— Dori (@Bigwasp80) June 2, 2018
Serena has beaten Sharapova 18 STRAIGHT TIMES since 2005 so yeah,she’s intimidated😂😂😂 And of course Trump is obsessed with somebody’s looks as usual🖕🏽
— Brooklyn Tam (@TL81) June 3, 2018
Am I supposed to be cringing at the rambling Sharapova question or at “we’re in this together, baby”?
— another Rebecca on the Internet (@NYCScribbler) June 3, 2018
But kudos to Williams, who handled the question as pro as she handles the tennis court.
So, let’s review:
- Don’t call a professional athlete (or any interview subject for that matter!) ‘Baby,’ unless it’s their given name.
- What does a pre-President Donald Trump quote from 2004 about a completely different tournament have anything to do with Williams at the 2018 French Open? Nothing. So don’t use it.
- Please focus on the skill of the athlete: talk about their training, heck, even their pre-game rituals! Don’t make it about looks, especially if it was the opinion of an ageing white man.
- If you wouldn’t ask it of a male professional athlete, then why ask it of a female athlete?
- Get your head out of your ass.
We’ve got all of that covered, hopefully Simons, or any other ‘sports analyst’ can take notes next time.