Sports reporter, Bill Simons, has issued an apology after receiving backlash for asking Serena Williams if, as President Trump is said to have suggested in 2004, she was ‘intimidated by [the] supermodel good looks’ of opponent Maria Sharapova.
Bill Simons is the publisher and editor for the sports publication Inside Tennis and during the interview, claimed to have waited 14 years to ask Serena if she was intimidated by Sharapova’s ‘alluring shoulders’, not after calling her ‘baby’. In the interview, Bill encourages Williams to work with him as it was believed that she was rushing home to be with her nine-month-old daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.
I still don't understand what Bill Simons was going on about here. Serena handled the question well, but I am still confounded by it. pic.twitter.com/pMLM0ms8Si
— Marty. (@Atwitisborn) June 3, 2018
Twitter Reacts To The Interview
A lot of people on Twitter quickly called out Bill Simons for his interview style and how he focused on asking Serena about Maria and quoting Trump, ignoring the fact that Serena had just won her first Grand Slam since giving birth. Because, again, what does the physical appearance of Sharapova or Williams have to do with winning a tennis match?
Bill, you’re a trash sports reporter. That dumb question where you reached to bring up f’n Donald trump and had the audacity to ask Serena Williams if she was intimidated by a woman she’s beaten over a dozen times. No self respecting outlet should give you a shot at top talent.
— Jade #ThisIsOurWatch (@jade3457) June 4, 2018
All I am getting from the quotes of this interview is that Bill Simons is only interested in Serena Williams to ask about Maria Sharapova.
— Shi (@ImALittleBitShi) June 3, 2018
Like seriously if I'm Serena I'm skipping every presser from now on, WTA & ITF can send a joint bill for my fines at the end of each year. 👋💸
— Rhian (@rosso_neri) June 2, 2018
A lot of people commended Serena for handling the interview ‘well’. The idea that one has to be composed and calm when being assailed with misogyny is not a pleasant one – no one should be unconsciously calculating the best emotional outcome when someone says something sexist. Bill Simmons took to Twitter to apologize for his comments and made sure to let us know that he never meant to attack Serena nor empower Trump, whilst reminding us of his lifetime fight against racism, homophobia and sexism.
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
— INSIDE TENNIS (@BillSimons1) June 4, 2018
It worth noting that Bill should maybe rework his interviewing style…
Serena was meant to face Maria Sharapova on Monday and has since pulled out of the French Open before her fourth-round match with Maria Sharapova because of an injury which has affected her serve.
‘I’ve had issues with the right pectoral muscle to the point where I can’t serve,’ said the 36-year-old. ‘I’ll have a scan. I don’t know about Wimbledon until I get the results.’ Williams said she first felt the problem during her third-round win over German 11th seed Julia Gorges on Saturday. She played in a doubles match with sister Venus on Sunday, saying she wanted to try to manage the problem before her match with Sharapova, as reported by BBC.
‘I tried lots of taping and support to see how it felt in match circumstances,’ Williams said. ‘It is hard to play when I can’t physically serve. I’ve never had this injury before, I’ve never felt it in my life and it was so painful. I don’t know how to manage it.’ This is the first time Williams has ever pulled out of a Grand Slam.
Williams said she will have an MRI scan in Paris on Tuesday and will stay in the French capital, at least, until the extent of her injury is clear.
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