The Times reports that former mixed doubles Grand Slam title winner Justin Gimelstob verbally laid into Anna Kournikova and made sexist comments about other female tennis players during a US sports radio show, resulting in a one match suspension without pay from the tennis league in which he plays. When questioned about his upcoming march against Kournikova, Gimelstob claimed:
“I’m going to serve it right at the body, about 128 [mph], right into her midriff,” he said. “If she’s not crying by the time she comes off court then I did not do my job.”
Asked if that meant he hated the Russian, with whom he trained as a youth player, he replied: “Hate is a very strong word. I just despise her to the maximum level just below hate.” He added that he would not like to sleep with Kournikova, “because she’s such a douche”. Instead, “I wouldn’t mind my brother, who is kind of a stud, nail her and then reap the benefits.”
He also referred to other female players as “sexpots”. His remarks have been condemned by Billie Jean King, Serena Williams, the Association of Tennis Professionals, of which he is a board member, and the Women’s Tennis Association, who for some reason responded with incredible generosity:
A spokesman for the Women’s Tennis Associationsaid: “We believe that he has learnt from this and will not be repeating his behaviour,” adding that the player had apologised personally to Larry Scott, the tour’s CEO.
Apparently Gimelstob does not “feel that the views I expressed last week accurately represent the person I am or strive to be”. So either an arrogant misogynist who has no idea when to keep his mouth shut took control of his body for the duration of the interview, or he needs to get striving a little harder, because all the rest of us are seeing is an nasty piece of work who deserves far more than a one match suspension. I know which option I’m going with…