On Sunday, tennis legend John McEnroe ruffled the feathers of feminists everywhere when he explained that tennis star Serena Williams, while being the “best female player ever,” would rank around 700 in the men’s circuit.
Here’s the exchange with NPR reporter Lulu Garcia-Navarro:
Garcia-Navarro: We’re talking about male players but there is of course wonderful female players. Let’s talk about Serena Williams. You say she is the best female player in the world in the book.
McEnroe: Best female player ever — no question.
Garcia-Navarro: Some wouldn’t qualify it, some would say she’s the best player in the world. Why qualify it?
McEnroe: Oh! Uh, she’s not, you mean, the best player in the world, period?
Garcia-Navarro: Yeah, the best tennis player in the world. You know, why say female player?
McEnroe: Well because if she was in, if she played the men’s circuit she’d be like 700 in the world.
The Left, all too quick to be outraged, branded the colorful tennis player a sexist for daring to voice such a simple truth rooted in (apparently misogynistic) biology. The media, needless to say, began sharpening their knives for McEnroe the moment the NPR interview was published.
On Tuesday morning, CBS This Morning jumped at the chance to press the tennis star for his recently-committed sins against Feminism, but when confronted, McEnroe refused to apologize.
“I’m just waiting, would you like to apologize?” asked co-host Norah O’Donnell.
“Uh, no,” answered McEnore, before lamenting the asinine tendency for those in the tennis world to compare men and women.
Good for McEnroe. He shouldn’t be bullied by the media into an apology for stating something so obvious, backed by enormous evidence.
First of all, McEnroe did not slight Williams at all, as has been suggested. He made it clear that Williams is the “best female player ever — no question,” and only made his comment about a possible 700 ranking when pressed by NPR. So the claim that his comment was “unnecessary” and therefore insensitive is absurd.
And then there’s what McEnroe actually said. What is so offensive about Williams ranking 700 in the men’s game? As noted by The Daily Wire on Monday, it seems fairly obvious that Williams would actually rank around 700 in the men’s circuit if you look at the female star’s Universal Tennis Rating and her previous interactions with ranked male players:
Looking at Williams’ Universal Tennis Rating (UTR), which is the assigned numerical rating to all tennis players — both men and women — ranging on a 0 to 16.39 scale, the female athlete rates at 13.36, whereas dominant male tennis players like Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic rate at 16.26 and 16.27 respectively. The scale places Williams on-par with average men’s college players (ranks about 97th out of the top 125 college men’s singles) and nowhere near top-world-ranked men.
Furthermore, in 1998, Williams actually played a set against a male tennis player ranked 203 in the world, Germany’s Karsten Braasch. She got her butt handed to her in embarrassing fashion, taking a 6-1 loss as her opponent smoked cigarettes and sipped beer in between change-overs.
Not to mention that small detail called biology. Williams is at such a disadvantage against men because of her genetic make-up: as highlighted in Psychology Today, “Men are on average taller than women, have more muscle mass, stronger bones, tendons, and ligaments, have bigger hearts, a greater lung volume, and a higher red blood cell count.”
The effort by the media to shame McEnroe for expressing an obvious truth is terrifying. McEnroe should be applauded for refusing to offer an apology after disrupting the safe spaces of biology-denying feminists.
That said, McEnroe did go on to rank Williams fifth overall among men and women during the CBS appearance, an utter lie if his ranking is relative to their field, i.e. men’s and women’s tennis.