Tennis legend John McEnroe is not just known for being a seven-time major champion.
He is also known for his short fuse.
But recently, he also served up a sinful helping of shade at Australia's "crazy aunt" of tennis, Margaret Court.
For the uninitiated, Court was a former world number one tennis player. In 1970, she became the first woman in the open era to win all four Grand Slams and still holds the record for being a 24-time Grand Slam winner.
She is currently a Christian minister in Perth, Western Australia.
She is also a notorious racist and homophobe.
John McEnroe sends down another ace... https://t.co/mX9iMI5TiH— Francis Leach (@Francis Leach)1580100573.0
@LyleShelton Margaret Court was a good tennis player. That doesn't mean she isn't also extremely bigoted when she c… https://t.co/na6DiBDQZx— Westeros has a Starbucks (@Westeros has a Starbucks)1579688661.0
Court also proclaimed she would never fly Australia's national airline Qantas because they support same-sex marriage.
@janeenorman @joshgnosis @Qantas Would have thought Margaret Court wouldn't be flying anywhere anyway, as there wer… https://t.co/Wvmba1qAxP— Elle Cee (@Elle Cee)1495682841.0
In honor of commemorating the 77-year-old's 50th anniversary of her Grand Slam milestone, Tennis Australia invited Court to attend this year's tournament, despite her personal views of "intolerance and demeaning language."
Tennis champion Margaret Court will be honoured tonight on the 50th anniversary of her Grand Slam. But… https://t.co/6bg18xyZNi— 10 News First Melbourne (@10 News First Melbourne)1580105922.0
But McEnroe had plenty more to say and expressed it on his Eurosport segment, Commissioner of Tennis.
He argued that in honoring someone, you cannot separate the person—in this case, an ornery homophobe and racist—from their achievements.
"Please win two more Grand Slams so we can leave Margaret Court and her offensive views in the past where she belon… https://t.co/3GwylskVFf— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport UK)1580045490.0
McEnroe, a former player-turned-pundit known for his confrontational proclivities, quipped:
"The air quality in Melbourne is not the only nightmare that Tennis Australia is having. Margaret Court is another one."
"This year marks the 50th anniversary of Margaret Court's grand slam and Tennis Australia is facing a dilemma. What do they do with their crazy aunt?"
McEnroe pleaded with 23-time grand slam winner Serena Williams to best Court's record.
"Serena, do me a favor. Get two more grand slams this year and get to 25 so we can leave Margaret Court and her offensive views in the past where they both belong."
Williams' fans were here for McEnroe assigning her as Court Slayer.
@Eurosport_UK @serenawilliams Love it! 😀, that's definitely a motivator for Serena, if she ever needed one, and may… https://t.co/av08u3RhZd— Think (@Think)1580048810.0
@Eurosport_UK @serenawilliams 👏 bravo 👏— boundless plains to share (@boundless plains to share)1580107176.0
@Eurosport_UK @serenawilliams Sooo good. Thankyou— Sue Pieters-Hawke (@Sue Pieters-Hawke)1580117110.0
@Eurosport_UK @peterc_150 @serenawilliams Brilliant- trust Ausie’s still have the sense of humor of old- ouch is that a punn- JM you rock— TheGOTHPontiffInvHunterWhisperer (@TheGOTHPontiffInvHunterWhisperer)1580137904.0
@Eurosport_UK @serenawilliams I agree, Go Serena!— Michaelcymatic (@Michaelcymatic)1580154504.0
@Eurosport_UK @serenawilliams Legend. Spot on point.— Rico Thorton (@Rico Thorton)1580161326.0
@Eurosport_UK @serenawilliams Brilliant and I love you McEnroe. Brave. Honest.— randomaccess (@randomaccess)1580195971.0
@Eurosport_UK @serenawilliams This is the best video Eurosport could circulate to re-establish truth and trust. Tha… https://t.co/phhWKfDXOp— Benjamin. 🇫🇷🇬🇧🇪🇺 (@Benjamin. 🇫🇷🇬🇧🇪🇺)1580052432.0
McEnroe referenced the Glam Slam—the only international LGBTIQ+ tennis event taking place with a Grand Slam tournament at the same venue.
"To the credit of Tennis Australia, Margaret Court's tribute is counter-balanced by the organization of the biggest LGBTIQ tennis tournament in the world at Melbourne Park."
"Organizers call it the glam slam. Margaret would probably call it hell on earth."
The Glam Slam is sanctioned by the Gay Lesbian Tennis Alliance (GLTA) and will take place at Melbourne Park during the Australian Open.
The finals will take place at Court 3 on February 2.
After a commanding straight set win in Round 1 of the 2020 Australian Open, 23-time grand slam tennis champion Serena Williams had no trouble maintaining that intensity, as she full-on roasted a reporter during the post-match press conference.
The exchange occurred when the journalist/victim asked Serena to share her thoughts regarding Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's recent decision to partially step back from their duties as "Senior Members" of England's royal family.
She began with pure stoicism.
"Yeah, I have absolutely no comments on anything with that."
And after a brief pause, to a wave of hushed laughter across the room, she hit the reporter with some lighthearted condescension, grinning the entire time.
"But good try, good try, you did good."
See the live exchange below.
#SerenaWilliams shuts down question about royal drama surrounding #PrinceHarry and #MeghanMarkle: "Good Try" https://t.co/F9XTcTdFn8— ET Canada (@ET Canada)1579528709.0
Several Twitter users had only good things to say about the exchange.
@people Serena: Good try https://t.co/BoBkaRAZpS— Scooter Phoenix (@Scooter Phoenix)1579536888.0
@LellyNai IKR. She's a world class athlete and that's what he asks.— Una (@Una)1579575259.0
Some offered some more general thoughts about what fruits may come from the ongoing friendship between Williams & Markle.
odds meghan markle has a group chat with serena williams and beyonce where they clown kate middleton. id say 100— Steadman™ (@Steadman™)1579374021.0
The reporter evidently hoped to gain some info by tapping into the private convos Serena and Meghan likely have. The two, after all, have been friends for 10 years now, ever since meeting at a Super Bowl party back in 2010.
"Taking pictures, laughing through the flag football game we were both playing and chatting not about tennis or acting but about good old fashioned girly stuff."
Williams and her husband—and founder of Reddit—Alexis Ohanian even attended the royal wedding in 2018.
Serena Williams - with husband Alexis Ohanian - is the latest star to be spotted at St George's Chapel in Windsor… https://t.co/3VTXHD4JQY— ITV News (@ITV News)1526723983.0
And Markle returned the loyalty, taking a last-minute, commercial flight to Williams' match at the 2019 U.S. Open in New York City.
duchess meghan, venus williams, and anna wintour, all sat in serena's player's box. legends, only. 👑✨ #usopen https://t.co/phA9a6sGOy— maybe: diane (@maybe: diane)1567888624.0
With Meghan and Harry's new life decision, it's difficult to predict whether we'll see more or less Serena-Meghan content in the months and years to come. If it does happen, it'll undoubtedly be hard to miss, as those ladies appear to have captured some hearts along the way.
Serena Williams Had The Ultimate Response To People Who Say She Should 'Focus On Tennis' Instead Of Fighting For Equality
A favorite response of the political right is to tell people to "focus on their profession" and not get politically involved.
International tennis superstar Serena Williams found herself facing the same criticism, supposedly from Billie Jean-King, and she was not about to sit down and take it.
Speaking to reporters after her match versus Romanian Simona Halep in the Wimbledon final, Williams fielded an unexpected question:
"Serena, sorry, this is kind of a negative one, but there have been a few comments made in recent weeks from people such as Billie Jean-King, that maybe you should stop being a celebrity for a year, and stop fighting for equality, and just focus on the tennis. How do you respond to that?"
Serena hit back with the aptness of a tennis player:
"Well, the day I stop fighting for equality, and for people that look like you and me, will be the day I'm in my grave."
Asked what she thinks about remarks that she should 'stop fighting for equality and just focus on the tennis,' Sere… https://t.co/6Bla82AAlH— Kyle Griffin (@Kyle Griffin)1563036303.0
And people definitely want that engraved on their tombstone.
@kylegriffin1 https://t.co/GLrgEMiTd6— Elee (@Elee)1563121529.0
@kylegriffin1 @serenawilliams Is incredible. Thank God she is fighting for equality. The works needs more people like Serena. #respect— Patricia Arquette (@Patricia Arquette)1563059149.0
@kylegriffin1 @DaShanneStokes Athletes cannot ever sacrifice their morals for money or the hypersensitivity of miso… https://t.co/vyqkwYsh3T— Joseph Franklin (@Joseph Franklin)1563045395.0
@kylegriffin1 This may sound crazy, but couldn't she just do both?— Ross Ginsberg (@Ross Ginsberg)1563036352.0
However tennis legend and fighter for both women's and LGBT equality, Billie Jean King tweeted, following the question, denying that she ever said Williams should "stop fighting for equality."
I would never ask anyone to stop fighting for equality. In everything she does, Serena shines a light on what all o… https://t.co/bBJbKDDWGc— Billie Jean King (@Billie Jean King)1563039625.0
@BillieJeanKing Thank you for addressing the misquote and correcting it. It didn’t sound like something you would say!— Kelli 🦋🌸 (@Kelli 🦋🌸)1563051022.0
@BillieJeanKing Fighting for equal rights and being the best aren't mutually exclusive. The expectations for Seren… https://t.co/1rWaFZECk0— Lisa A. Coleman (@Lisa A. Coleman)1563046633.0
King's quote was:
"She's got a baby, she's trying to help gender equity, particularly women of color, she's actually on the Billie Jean
King leadership initiative; she and Venus are both advisors for it."
"I would like her to put everything else aside, because she's got people working on those things. I wish she would just make a commitment for the next year-and-a-half to two years and say, 'I'm going to absolutely focus on what's necessary for my tennis, so when I look in the mirror when I'm older then I can go back in my mind and know I gave it everything I had'."
But people agree Serena is doing exactly the right things.
@kylegriffin1 Hero! https://t.co/FnIkXHGGsY— 🏳️🌈Lyndsea🖇 (@🏳️🌈Lyndsea🖇)1563036371.0
@kylegriffin1 @Robinzpage https://t.co/DxFN0llmlx— MED (@MED)1563041851.0
@kylegriffin1 Hooray for Serena. I was disappointed that she lost (Of course!) but she's a winner and this just shows how much a winner.— Jim Owen (@Jim Owen)1563036443.0
@kylegriffin1 https://t.co/slQdsVysum— B (@B)1563036733.0
@kylegriffin1 Don't tell Serena Williams what to do.— Matt Smith (@Matt Smith)1563036418.0
Williams unfortunately suffered her third consecutive Grand Slam defeat in the Wimbledon final.
But that is no deterrent to her on her fight for equality.
"The cycles of poverty, discrimination, and sexism are much, much harder to break than the record for Grand Slam titles."
The story of Serena and her sister Venus was chronicled for children in the new book Sisters and Champions: The True Story of Venus and Serena Williams, available here, and the book Sisters: Venus & Serena Williams, available here.
Serena Williams's competition outfit at last year's French Open caused quite a bit of controversy, at least among French Tennis Federation officials.
The slick black catsuit she wore to last year's competition drew the ire of French Tennis Federation and its President Bernard Giudicelli, and led to the organization adopting a dress code for competitors.
This didn't stop Serena from making a statement with this year's outfit as well.
Williams' catsuit had been both a health precaution after her complicated pregnancy and subsequent fight to get back to competition condition, and a statement for all the mothers who had a similarly difficult recovery.
Guidicelli said that Williams' outfit was inappropriate and that the dress code was being implemented because:
"You have to respect the game and the place."
Unsure exactly what that was supposed to mean, many jumped to Serena's defense on social media.
They can’t get Serena on drug testing so they are banning the catsuit she wears that is MEDICALLY APPROVED to help… https://t.co/hba3d3Amz7— George M Johnson (@George M Johnson)1535132404.0
Some people are still confused as to exactly what was wrong with the catsuit.
I'm still trying to fully understand what was wrong with her outfit last year. I'm really not seeing what the issue… https://t.co/xvfPJSQCQj— Jamaal A. Bivens (@Jamaal A. Bivens)1558998307.0
The outfit Serena chose for this year's competition, a collaboration between Nike and Virgil Abloh, features a jacket and a removable maxi-length skirt over a sport top and tennis shorts.
The black-and white print fabric also features the French words "championne," "mère," "reine" and "déesse." In English: "champion," "mother," "queen" and "goddess."
It seems that since she isn't allowed to make a symbolic statement with a fierce catsuit, Williams apparently decided to make a clear statement with words—in French, lest the message be misinterpreted.
Ok. It says "Champion, Queen, Mother, Goddess" 😆 Tell them! In French just to be clear. 👌❤ https://t.co/PHHoTSS0VE— Karla Antoinette Baptiste (@Karla Antoinette Baptiste)1558997176.0
Serena shared photos of the outfit to Twitter as well.
Let the Roland Garros begin. Here is my French Open look designed by @virgilabloh and @Nike. https://t.co/niiyqoI94m— Serena Williams (@Serena Williams)1558875733.0
The love for Serena's new outfit was real, as was the praise of Serena herself.
@serenawilliams @virgilabloh @Nike You are fabulous in everything you do. Mother. Tennis. Fashion. Business.— Barbara Glickstein (@Barbara Glickstein)1558879095.0
@serenawilliams @virgilabloh @Nike Love you style!— AKA Des (@AKA Des)1558875800.0
@serenawilliams @virgilabloh @Nike Serena..... you are an absolute beauty! Watching you live right now! Go get’m girl! Looking fantastic!— linda kristine (@linda kristine)1558988282.0
@serenawilliams @virgilabloh @Nike This is such an exciting look. Also, shows how political gorgeous design can be.… https://t.co/fa4VIwPSaF— Carmen Wisdom (@Carmen Wisdom)1558882912.0
@ajplus Serena Wear is everywhere. God bless her. :-)— Nancy Fal (@Nancy Fal)1559018457.0
I love that Serena isn’t just an athlete but a legendary one who won’t let nothing get in her way https://t.co/UpKEpmVQwf— Bryce 🌊 (@Bryce 🌊)1558993223.0
@serenawilliams @virgilabloh @Nike Thank you for being such a good role model for my three teenage daughters 💪— Amanda Berringer 🇪🇺 (@Amanda Berringer 🇪🇺)1559020305.0
@serenawilliams @virgilabloh @Nike I can see you lifting the trophy in this. And I’m not referring to runner up 😤— Kyle (@Kyle)1558875993.0
Many called for a version of the ensemble to be made commercially available.
@serenawilliams @virgilabloh @Nike I peeped this last night! 🔥🔥🔥 Can't anybody do it like you do!! 👏👏👏 And I need l… https://t.co/OiWfIVWgxx— Adrianna H (@Adrianna H)1558877495.0
@serenawilliams @AwaWawafun @virgilabloh @Nike I want the blue off white Nike shoes 😭😭😭😭— Lumberghost 🌟🌟 (@Lumberghost 🌟🌟)1558881903.0
Williams is well known for her fashion sense, both on and off the court, and is definitely living up to that reputation.
Serena has advanced to the second round of the French Open after a bit of a rocky start against Russian player Vitalia Diatchenko yesterday. This was her 800th win.
In case you missed the match, you can view some highlights below:
Serena Williams vs Vitalia Diatchenko - Round 1 Highlights | Roland-Garros 2019 www.youtube.com
If a difficult pregnancy and subsequent struggle with blood clots can't keep Serena down, neither will something as silly as a dress code!
Woman Wants To Call Off Her Wedding Because Of Her Lack Of Bridesmaids, And Her Heartbroken Fiancee Turns To The Internet For Advice
Planning a wedding can be a nightmare for some people. It's amazing how quickly an event that is supposed to be about the couple can turn into a whole big production about literally everybody else. I know from experience, I actually cancelled my wedding and surprised people with a beach BBQ/wedding because planning it got to be so stressful. So when one heartbroken man asked Reddit what to do about his fiance's struggles with planning their wedding, I felt for the bride-to-be way down deep in my bones.
He explained that she had no female family members and no friends, so she had gotten fixated on the idea that she would have no bridesmaids. She's an elementary school teacher and writer who is pretty uncomfortable in social settings, so she didn't have a whole lot of chance for connecting with people. The groom has a large group of friends, but she's not so social. She was so upset that she was considering cancelling the wedding entirely! He was genuinely heartbroken that he couldn't help her feel better.
Reddit offered a few bits of advice for him. Some have been edited for clarity.