Serena Williams Has Killer Response to Reporter's Sexist Questions
In a recent interview, world renowned tennis star Serena Williams was asked an appalling question by Inside Tennis reporter Bill Simons. She was asked if she finds her tennis opponent, Maria Sharapova, intimidating because of her “supermodel good looks.” This was at the end of a spiral of inappropriate and condescending remarks during the interview.
Simons seemingly attempted to create a more personal interaction with Serena Williams saying, “I know you want to get back to Olympia (Williams’ daughter), work with me here please,” He said. “We’re in this together baby.”
Before asking this insulting question, Simons explains that he had the opportunity to interview the current President of the United States, Donald Trump following Williams’ 2004 Wimbledon match with Maria Sharapova. On his LA golf course, Trump described Sharapova’s shoulders as “incredibly alluring” right before he came to the conclusion that Williams was intimidated by Sharapova’s “supermodel good looks.”
Williams responded to the question with grace and clarity, “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.”
There was an uproar of responses after the interview on the internet. Many were in unison commenting on the misogynistic remarks and the irrelevance of the question. This interview highlights the sad reality that women of color are most likely thinking; “If Serena Williams was not a black woman, would Simons have dared to ask her such a degrading question?” The unfortunate answer to that question; “probably not.”
Simons posted an apology on twitter stating, “I apologize if my awkward ques seemed 2 empower Trump or attack Serena. I SO admire her/I’ve spent lifetime fighting racism/sexism/homophobia.Started campaign 2 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.”
Simons referenced his lifetime battles against racism, sexism and homophobia along with his apology. Perhaps to emphasize that he his belief that he is in no way racist, sexist or homophobic.
This is not the first time Serena Williams has had to deal with disrespectful encounters and comments. She always responds with eloquence noting when referring to a previous racist situation, “This or anything else will not stop me from pouring love, light and positivity into everything that I do. I will continue to take a lead and stand up for what’s right.”
Below is a transcript of the interview:
Q. I know you want to get back to Olympia, work with me here, please.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Work with me (smiling).
Q. We’re in this together, baby.
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, we’re not; you’re not going home to a screaming baby.
Q. I have been waiting about 14 years to ask you this question. After the 2004 Wimbledon match with Maria, I had the opportunity to interview Donald Trump on his LA golf course, and he said that Maria’s shoulders were incredibly alluring and then he came up with this incredible analysis: That you were intimidated by her super model good looks. My question is: have you ever been intimidated by anyone on a tennis court, and what are your thoughts about that occurrence?
SERENA WILLIAMS: 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.