Wimbledon Women's Champ "Not a Looker"!?
Yeah, because looks matter when you play tennis
But her serious brainpower and sheer tennis prowess apparently didn't impress John Inverdale of BBC Radio 5. Inverdale, who we'll gently suggest has the perfect face for radio, thought it would be compelling to harp on Bartoli's appearance. He asked his listeners:
"Do you think Bartoli's dad told her when she was 12, 13, 14 maybe, 'listen, you are never going to be, you know, a looker. You are never going to be somebody like a Sharapova, you're never going to be somebody with long legs, so you have to compensate for that'?"
Naturally, the Internet smacked back, and Twitter was buzzing about Inverdale's sad but oh-too-commonplace remarks about the female athlete's appearance. We can't print most of 'em, but one person sarcastically summed it up for us: "John Inverdale is, of course, earth-shatteringly beautiful."
At the moment, the BBC has received more than 675 complaints about Inverdale's tacky commentary. Inverdale apologized, saying "The point I was trying to make, in a rather ham-fisted kind of way, was that in a world where the public perception of tennis players is that they're all 6ft tall Amazonian athletes, Marion ... bucks that trend."
Um, hello, John McEnroe. In a word, that back-pedaling apology is WEAK. It smells like Iverndale is scrambling to save his own hide. For any sportscasters out there, here's a good litmus test for vetting idiotic things you want to say about female athletes: if you wouldn't say it about a male athlete, keep your big, overpaid mouth shut.
Do you think Inverdale should be fired for his comments? Or is it much ado about nothing after he apologized?