“Do you think [Marion] Bartoli’s dad told her when she was little: ‘You’re never going to be a looker, you’ll never be a [Maria] Sharapova, so you have to be scrappy and fight’?
Yeah, BBC’s Radio 5 Live host John Inverdale actually said this after Marion Bartoli defeated Sabine Lisicki to win the woman’s Grand Slam title this weekend at Wimbledon, managing to be offensive on multiple levels. One, it’s just plain rude! Two, there’s the suggestion that a hot blonde female tennis player doesn’t have to play as hard. Sure, attractiveness may have something to do with scoring endorsement deals off the court, but on the court, appearance has absolutely no bearing on skill.
In response to this grossly sexist comment, Bartoli was a hell of a lot more gracious than I would have been:
“It doesn’t matter, honestly. I am not blonde, yes. That is a fact. Have I dreamt about having a model contract? No. I’m sorry. But have I dreamed about winning Wimbledon? Absolutely, yes. And to share this moment with my dad was absolutely amazing and I am so proud of it. I am sure I will be able to watch the DVD of the match over and over again and look at the picture of me when I am holding the trophy in my arms. That is the most important thing to me and not what I can do outside of the court.”
After he was slammed with criticism, Inverdale later backtracked by trying to pass off his rude remark as a compliment of some sort. “We poked fun, in a nice way, about how she looks,” Inverdale said. (Uh, is there a nice way to poke fun about how someone looks?) “But Marion Bartoli is an incredible role model.”
Thankfully, BBC apologized for Inverdale much better than he did, issuing this too-the-point statement: “We accept this was insensitive and for that we apologize.”
Follow me on Twitter. Email me at Jessica@TheFrisky.com.