Due to an injury, Serena Williams recently had to pull out of the French Open. Before announcing her withdrawal, however, Inside Tennis’ Bill Simons asked the 23-time Grand Slam champion about alleged comments from now-President Donald Trump in 2004 saying Williams’ would-be opponent, Maria Sharapova, had “alluring”shoulders and suggesting Williams was “intimidated by her supermodel good looks.”
“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,” she reportedly said in response.
Here is the full transcript.
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
After a public lashing, Simons apologized for asking the sexist question and for using his time to inadvertently empower Trump.
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