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Writing for Rolling Stone in 2013, Stephen Roderick observed, "Sharapova is tall, white and blond, and, because of that, makes more money in endorsements than Serena, who is black, beautiful and built like one of those monster trucks that crushes Volkswagens at sports arenas." In 2014, Russian tennis official Shamil Tarpischev infamously called the Williams sisters "brothers," saying, "It's frightening when you look at them.But really you just need to play against the ball." In response, Ms.Bergin, a contracted employee, said the station told him that his assignments would be cut to one a week and he declined to remain in the position.'It's important to shine a light on this anti-cop mentality that has so contaminated America's inner cities,' Bergin said after airing the widow's comments and showing a memorial for her husband. 'There are a lot of kids without fathers who go to college, graduate and become upstanding citizens.
But longtime fans know that, along with celebrating, they should brace for more of the expressions of bigotry have threatened to tarnished nearly every victory, magazine cover, and interview of her entire incredible career.
Magazine's Corinne Gaston wrote, "The type of body-shaming in Tarpishchev's comment, while subtle, comes gift-wrapped in a triad from hell: misogyny, racism and transphobia." The Telegraph's Sue Mott seemed to embrace Tarpischev's (and others') characterization of Williams as scary and take it another, dehumanizing level, when she wrote in 2002 that Williams and Venus had "evolved into players of Amazonian physique and piranha mentality." Even when Williams loses, she's perceived as an untamed source of power.
Describing Serena's 2009 US Open loss, an ESPN column noted that Williams's opponent "seemed destined to win the match anyways," describing how she'd returned "Serena's savage strokes." And if it's not clear what words like "savage" imply, some writers have spelled it out.
These remarks don't always take the form of explicit racial slurs or threats of bodily harm, like the ones reported at Indian Wells did.
But if Williams were to boycott every tennis event at which someone made an offensive, dehumanizing reference to her body's size and shape, she'd have to quit the sport altogether. Jennifer Capriati was clearly out of shape and overweight.