Russian Tennis Boss Fined and Suspended After Calling Venus and Serena ‘Williams Brothers’

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Shamil Tarpischev, a member of the International Olympic Committee, went on a television talk show last week and referenced Serena and Venus Williams as the “Williams brothers.” Not such a good idea when you’re the President of the Russian Tennis Federation.

According to The Guardianthe governing body of women’s tennis has fined Tarpischev $25,000 (£15,500) and suspended him for a year. His questionable remarks struck everyone the wrong way. Stacey Allaster, the chair of the Women’s Tennis Association said,

“The statements made by Shamil Tarpischev on Russian television with respect to two of the greatest athletes in the history of women’s tennis are insulting, demeaning and have absolutely no place in our sport. The WTA was founded on principles of equality, opportunity and respect and Venus and Serena embody all of these attributes. Mr Tarpischev’s statements questioning their genders tarnish our great game and two of our champions. His derogatory remarks deserve to be condemned and he will be sanctioned.”

Serena Williams also spoke out in regards to the comments:

“I thought they were very insensitive and extremely sexist as well as racist at the same time. I thought they were in a way bullying. I’ve done the best that I can do, and that’s all I can say. So I just wasn’t very happy with his comments. I think a lot of people weren’t happy as well.”

Maria Sharapova, the “face” of Russian tennis and an often opponent of Venus and Serena came to defend the sisters as well.

“I think they were very disrespectful and uncalled-for, and I’m glad that many people have stood up, including the WTA. It was very inappropriate, especially in his position and all the responsibilities that he has not just in this sport, but being part of the Olympic committee. It was just really irresponsible on his side.”

[via The Guardian]

Monica Adams | News Cult