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Russian tennis boss calls Venus and Serena ‘the Williams brothers’

Since they took over tennis more than a decade ago, Venus and Serena Williams have been the targets of criticism, speculation, and quite a few undeserved critiques from people who don’t want to see them succeed.  The attacks hit a low point this week, as a leading figure in Russian tennis made some nasty remarks about the gender of the two lovely women.

The president of the Russian Tennis Federation has been fined $25,000 for referring to Venus and Serena as “the Williams brothers.”  Not only has Shamil Taprischev been fined, he has also been banned for a year.

Some are baffled as to why he would make such a disrespectful remark.  The comments were made during a show on Russian television, stunning the audience on the show and tennis organizers world-wide.   At the time, Taprischev was sitting with retired Russian tennis player Elena Dementieva.

The question started with Dementieva being asked what it’s like to “play against one of the …”

Before the sentence was finished, Taprischev stepped in to say, “the Williams brothers.”

What he thought would be a nice joke turned tragic for him, and he is now being told to pay up for his remarks.   But Taprischev seemed to have a serious tone to his remarks, stating that the Williams sisters were “scary to look at.”

Show host Ivan Urgant went on to say: “I have tremendous respect for them (the Williams) but once one of the sisters passed next to me and I found myself in her shadow for about 40 seconds.”

Since that time, everyone involved has apologized for the remarks, but the punishment still stands.

His remarks have been condemned by the WTA as “insulting” and “demeaning” against “two of the greatest athletes in the history of woman’s tennis.”

“Mr. Tarpischev’s statements questioning their genders tarnish our great game and two of our champions,” WTA Tour chairman and CEO Stacey Allaster said in a statement Friday. “His derogatory remarks deserve to be condemned and he will be sanctioned.”

The WTA also demanded a personal apology to the sisters.

Tarpischev, who is also a member of the International Olympic Committee, said Saturday his comments about the Williams sisters were only meant as jokes.




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10 thoughts on “Russian tennis boss calls Venus and Serena ‘the Williams brothers’

  1. Ricki Stevenson (Mme)

    I applaud right and quick action by the tennis association in fining this racist Russian and banning him from the game for a year. His remarks about the top winning Williams sisters are inexcusable and show how jealousy permeates the game.

  2. Jah Larry Dread

    Racist attitudes are usually taught at the dinner table and reinforced by the media. I am not totally surprised. However, for a country with so few blacks…this is so very sad.

  3. godfather05

    He should be banned for life. He will not change his racist views he will just be more cautious where he say and display his racist attitude. Ban this racist idiot for life. This should also mean that if he can not attend a tennis function he if he attends the function he has to by paying for his seat out of his own pocket.

  4. The Who's Who

    He should be banned for life, he knew exactly what he was saying.. and probably wanted to say the “Williams Monkeys” instead and opt to say brothers to make his racist point..

    ..and furthermore..Russian women aren’t the most fem woman either.. they don’t shave their armpits or any hair off their bodies..nor do the majority of European women use underarm deodorant..or feminine hygiene products.. go to Europe in the summer months and you can smell the women a mile away..

  5. childofthesixties

    These young ladies are built like brick houses, therefore it had to be racist considering if you look out on the beach in Russia you will find overweight blimps in swim suits, hard looking Russian women, how fowl of him! Maybe he is just jealous that the Russian women don’t look as good!

  6. Umi okot

    My friends’ uncle had a Russian wife that looked exactly like Boris Yeltsin, I mean huge. And the fact that this woman never had a baby in her life, she looked like a real man. Most Russian woman are ugly and masculine believe me. This man should just shut up

  7. JDub81

    This white piece of Russian garbage has the nerve to insult these sistas when Russian Olympic chicks look like cavemen!


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