McEnroe won’t apol­o­gize for Wil­liams com­ment

The Washington Times Daily - - SPORTS -

Ten­nis icon John McEnroe says he has no in­ten­tion of apol­o­giz­ing to Ser­ena Wil­liams or her up­set fans over re­cent com­ments he made about her chances of suc­ceed­ing on the men’s tour.

A week­end in­ter­view with NPR to pro­mote his new book “But Se­ri­ously” in­cluded a ques­tion about Wil­liams’ pos­si­bly be­ing the best player in the world. His as­ser­tion that she would be ranked 700th if she played with men elicited a wave of crit­i­cism on so­cial me­dia and a per­sonal re­buke from Wil­liams.

“Dear John, I adore and re­spect you but please please keep me out of your state­ments that are not fac­tu­ally based. I’ve never played any­one ranked ‘there’ nor do I have time,” Wil­liams tweeted Mon­day. “Re­spect me and my pri­vacy as I’m try­ing to have a baby. Good day sir.”

McEnroe ap­peared on “CBS This Morn­ing” on Tues­day to dis­cuss his book and the con­tro­versy, where hosts Char­lie Rose, Gayle King and No­rah O’Donnell prompted him for an apol­ogy.

“Would you like to apol­o­gize?” O’Donnell asked. “No,” replied McEnroe.

The hosts then pep­pered him with ques­tions about why he would deign to an­swer NPR’s ques­tion in the first place. “What do you think, Char­lie? You’re a ten­nis guy,” the 58-year-old replied. “You like to play ten­nis. I see you on the court. What do you think Ser­ena Wil­liams would be ranked if she played in the men’s league?”

Rose re­fused to an­swer the ques­tion. “I have no idea,” he said.

“Why don’t you com­bine — just solve the prob­lem. I’m sure the men would be all for this: the men and women play to­gether,” McEnroe said. “And then we don’t have to guess.”

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