Reporter’s Absurdly Off-Base Question To Serena Williams Prompts Apology

by NESN Staff

June 4, 2018

Bill Simons has some explaining to do.

Simons, a self-described editor and publisher of the tennis magazine, “Inside Tennis,” had quite the ridiculous exchange with Serena Williams on Saturday after her victory over Julia Goerges in the French Open’s Round of 32, which set up a quarterfinal showdown with Maria Sharapova.

Here’s the transcript of the back-and-forth, which concludes with one of the most out-of-line questions you’ll see at a press conference:

Uh … what?

It’s tough to ask good questions in the heat of an interview, but Simons apparently waited 14 years to tell Williams about a random time in 2004 when now-president Donald Trump espoused a ridiculously condescending theory that Williams was intimidated by Sharapova’s “super model good looks.”

In addition to unnecessarily giving Trump’s comments a platform and demeaning Williams, Simons’ line of questioning doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense, considering Williams is 19-2 all time against Sharapova and has won 18 straight matches against her “rival.”

Williams quickly shut down the question with a politeness it probably didn’t deserve. And after being rightly criticized for his bizarre query, Simons offered a mea culpa Sunday night on Twitter, which basically involved him listing his noble deeds to justify his actions.

Williams withdrew from the French Open on Monday morning due to a pectoral injury, canceling her high-profile matchup with Sharapova.

Thumbnail photo via Susan Mullane/USA TODAY Sports Images
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