John McEnroe won’t stop serving up sexist nonsense.
Promoting his new book, McEnroe told NPR that Serena Williams would be ranked 700th in the men’s circuit. In a follow-up interview on CBS This Morning, he made a double fault. Instead of apologizing for the demeaning comment, he blamed the error on NPR, saying he thought it was a place where you could “say it like it is” and that he just said how he felt.
Which isn’t actually a defense or explanation but a pivot. He’s trying to paint himself as a victim for “just talking.” And while it’s odd to see the refined sophisticates of National Public Radio accused of egging on trash talk, we should still all take a moment to sympathize with McEnroe’s trauma at the hands of nasty NPR.
McEnroe told NPR that Williams’ legendary wins were due not to her physical strength but because she’s “incredibly strong mentally.”
Those arm and leg muscles, you see, are actually full of air and feelings.
He demurred at the suggestions that he play Williams, saying he’s too old but “maybe I should get her now while she’s pregnant.” Like she didn’t just win the Australian Open while eight-weeks pregnant. McEnroe won the Australian Open a whopping total of zero times.
He isn’t the first man who’s failed to remember Serena Williams is better than him. Last August a male reporter congratulated player Andy Murray for being the first Olympic tennis player to win two gold medals. Murray, at least, had the correct response:
“I think Venus and Serena have won about four each.”
Serena, for her part, knows exactly where she stands:
“If I were a man I would have 100 percent been considered the greatest ever a long time ago.”