Tennis  > General Tennis  > Navratilova's insensitive remarks during Kuznetsova/S. Williams QF at Roland Garros
June 9, 2009, 07:22 PM
Why hasn't this story gotten any attention?

Upon Serena Williams saving her second match point against Svetlana Kuznetsova during their quarterfinal match at Roland Garros yesterday, The Tennis Channel's Martina Navratilova gasped, "the fat lady ain't sung, yet." Then, immediately following Kuznetsova's victory over Williams, Navratilova remarked, "she finally got that 'monkey' off her back." During previous telecasts, she has referred to a gathering of young, teenage boys whistling at Maria Sharapova, as, "stupid men"!!!

Many a commentator, like ABC's Jimmy the Greek, Jim Grey, and the Golf Channel's Kelley Tillman, have been harshly criticized, suspended, and/or fired for making eerily similar racist and/or sexist remarks while on the air. Martina Navratilova should not be treated any differently. The Tennis Channel should immediately suspend or fire her, and issue a public apology, not only to Serena Williams and her family, but also to the american people, as well. I'm shocked that President Barrack Obama, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and the entire NAACP hasn't rallied and protested at the Tennis Channel's California studios, demanding the immediate dismissal of Navratilova.

While shocking, her remarks should not surprise us. She boasts about being gay, and while on air, claims, "I have crushes on women, not men." She also proudly and vociferously criticizes our past presidential administrators while on the air. Spewing these political views in private is one thing, but allowing her to make such comments and to publish her outlandish and left winged radical opinions and beliefs while on the air, is quite another.

We don't want to hear about her openly gay pride while watching a tennis match. We don't want to hear her say she has crushes on woman, not men, while watching tennis on television. We don't want to hear vicious attacks on our past leaders from someone who illegally defected from her country. We don't want to hear her demean a group of teenage boys for whistling at Maria Sharapova, while watching tennis on television. We don't want to hear her refer to African Americans as, "fat", and "monkeys", while watching tennis on television.

The Tennis Channel needs to do the right thing by suspending and/or firing Navratilova, and encouraging her to issue an immediate apology to Williams and the american people.

Rick Lambert
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
April 8, 2011  06:21 PM ET

After she won the U.S. Open in 1983, defeating Chris Evert in the final, Navratilova said something like, "I've got the monkey off my back!" The U.S. Open had until then been the only Grand Slam title she hadn't won. The "monkey" was clearly the elusive title.

April 8, 2011  09:08 PM ET
QUOTE:

'The Tennis Channel's Martina Navratilova gasped, "the fat lady ain't sung, yet." Then, immediately following Kuznetsova's victory over Williams, Navratilova remarked, "she finally got that 'monkey' off her back." 'You're reading WAY too much into that...if she had said the same thing, and Serena was WHITE, would it be a story? These are phrases that have been used forever, and the fact that you now think they had a racial undertone to them says more about your state of mind than Martina's.

Jimmer is absolutely correct. Mr. Lambert, its NOT news and THAT is why it's not getting major coverage that you think it should. These are common phrases used by all. Calm down, there are plenty of issues out there that you can freak out about. This isn't one of them.

January 29, 2012  03:40 AM ET
QUOTE:

Why hasn't this story gotten any attention? Upon Serena Williams saving her second match point against Svetlana Kuznetsova during their quarterfinal match at Roland Garros yesterday, The Tennis Channel's Martina Navratilova gasped, "the fat lady ain't sung, yet." Then, immediately following Kuznetsova's victory over Williams, Navratilova remarked, "she finally got that 'monkey' off her back." During previous telecasts, she has referred to a gathering of young, teenage boys whistling at Maria Sharapova, as, "stupid men"!!!Many a commentator, like ABC's Jimmy the Greek, Jim Grey, and the Golf Channel's Kelley Tillman, have been harshly criticized, suspended, and/or fired for making eerily similar racist and/or sexist remarks while on the air. Martina Navratilova should not be treated any differently. The Tennis Channel should immediately suspend or fire her, and issue a public apology, not only to Serena Williams and her family, but also to the american people, as well. I'm shocked that President Barrack Obama, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and the entire NAACP hasn't rallied and protested at the Tennis Channel's California studios, demanding the immediate dismissal of Navratilova.While shocking, her remarks should not surprise us. She boasts about being gay, and while on air, claims, "I have crushes on women, not men." She also proudly and vociferously criticizes our past presidential administrators while on the air. Spewing these political views in private is one thing, but allowing her to make such comments and to publish her outlandish and left winged radical opinions and beliefs while on the air, is quite another.We don't want to hear about her openly gay pride while watching a tennis match. We don't want to hear her say she has crushes on woman, not men, while watching tennis on television. We don't want to hear vicious attacks on our past leaders from someone who illegally defected from her country. We don't want to hear her demean a group of teenage boys for whistling at Maria Sharapova, while watching tennis on television. We don't want to hear her refer to African Americans as, "fat", and "monkeys", while watching tennis on television.The Tennis Channel needs to do the right thing by suspending and/or firing Navratilova, and encouraging her to issue an immediate apology to Williams and the american people.Rick LambertFort Lauderdale, Florida

Are you for real? Never heard of getting a monkey off your back? or that it isn't over until the fat lady sings? Your obvious dislike of Martina has clearly affected your judgement or are you just one of these PC people??

 
June 3, 2012  04:52 PM ET

Though you wrote this a few years ago I am still compelled to respond. I'm both black and gay and have listened to Martina commentate for years. I remember this match well and neither my gay or racism radars go off when I listen to her comments. As the others have said, monkey off your back and fat lady sings are very, very common phrases and I didn't detect any jabs in the way she said them. I think you're being too sensitive and quick to assume the worst. And a bit of advice, if you want to label someone else a racist, it usually works best if you don't immediately turn around and prove yourself to be a homophobe in the next sentence.

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