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Serena Williams Grandly Slams Sexist Remark by Russia Official

Image: Serena Williams Grandly Slams Sexist Remark by Russia Official
(Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images, file)

By    |   Monday, 20 Oct 2014 11:04 AM

Serena Williams has grandly slammed, so to speak, what she called a "racist and sexist" remark made about her and her sister by a Russian tennis officials who has since been punished by the WTA.

Russian tennis chief Shamil Tarpischev referred to Serena and Venus Williams the "Williams brothers," in referring to the U.S. tennis-playing women during a Russian talk show with WTA star Elena Dementieva, according to CNN. Tarpischev is also a member of the International Olympic Committee, chairman of the Kremlin Cup tournament in Moscow and has held several leading positions in Russia's sports administration, noted the network.

WTA chief Stacey Allaster said, according to CNN, that Taerpischev has been banned from the WTA for one year and fined a maximum $25,000 since he made the comments.

"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," Allaster said.

Serena Williams, the No. 1-ranked women's player in the world after winning the U.S. Open, said she felt the WTA made the right decision in suspending Tarpischev in a statement Sunday, reported the Washington Post.

"I think the WTA did a great job of taking initiative and taking immediate action to his comments," Williams said. "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."

Russian Maria Sharapova took Serena Williams' side in the dispute, according to the Washington Post.

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

According to ESPN, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko told the ITAR-Tass agency that while Tarpischev's suspension was "an unpleasant fact," he hoped that it may be reduced.

"It's probably worth trying to get the punishment softened," Mutko stated, per ESPN.

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Serena Williams has grandly slammed, so to speak, what she called a "racist and sexist" remark made about her and her sister by a Russian tennis officials who has since been punished by the WTA.
serena williams, grandly, slams, sexist, remark
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2014-04-20
Monday, 20 Oct 2014 11:04 AM
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