John McEnroe-Serena Williams Controversy: The Comments Heard Around the World

A couple of weeks ago, John McEnroe, a controversial tennis player during the 1980s, was in the news, and not exactly for the best reason. While promoting his memoir, Serena Williams was brought up in the conversation, with McEnroe explaining that she would be ranked number 700 if she played with the male tennis players.

Oh boy.

[Both tweets are from Serena Williams’s Twitter]
Now, fast forward to July 5th. He’s back in the news for his latest comments. When asked about his previous comments, as quoted from Tennis News, McEnroe brought up Williams recent cover on Vanity Fair and added ” [Serena] also said to me, ‘Respect my privacy’—and then I saw her doing a Demi Moore lookalike thing on the cover of Vanity Fair,’ McEnroe told ESPN.”

Once again, oh boy.

The ranking comment was demeaning, purposefully ignoring all the accolades Williams has obtained in her career as one of the greatest athletes of all time. Men and women’s tennis are different. Even Williams noted that, saying she would lose to the highest ranked male players because they serve harder and move faster. The second comment, was unnecessary as Williams still keeps her privacy but allows the public to see certain things SHE wants to reveal. Both comments are disrespectful.

So, why the fixation on Williams? It stems back for longer than two weeks, but for years, with McEnroe wanting to play Williams in a match. Some media outlets say this is just a ploy to stir publicity for his upcoming book rather than getting Williams to play against him. Regardless of the reason, McEnroe wouldn’t have made the same statements if it was Rafa Nadal or Roger Federer. Women, unfortunately, are held to a different, unrealistic standard than men in sports, and basically anything else, but that’s another story for a different day.

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