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
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.