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Tarpischev Slammed for 'Racist' Comments. Are We Going Nuts?
October 19, 2014 22:26

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The whole world has risen against ‘racist’, ‘sexist’, ‘demeaning’ comments made by Russia’s tennis chief Shamil Tarpischev about the Williams sisters.
Tarpischev has been chairman of the Kremlin Cup, Russia's only WTA event, for all of its 18 years as a women's tour event, and is also a member of the International Olympic Committee. During the 1990s, he was the personal tennis coach to Russian President Boris Yeltsin and served as his adviser on sports matters.
The WTA was up in arms after the news was widely circulated. “The comments were "insulting, demeaning and have absolutely no place in our sport," Women's Tennis Association (WTA) chief executive Stacy Allaster was quoted by the BBC and CNN as saying.
The Bleacher Report published one of the most vitriolic reports.
“Indeed, suggesting that two women in peak physical condition and two of the legends in women's tennis are somehow "manly" is to suggest that athleticism and muscle tone are solely masculine features. Thousands of female athletes—and the many men and women who support those athletes and are inspired by them—would beg to differ.”

Yes, Tarpischev did call the Williams siblings ‘brothers’. But let’s do some fact checking.
1. But it was made during not just a ‘light chat show’ as many media outlets describe – Tarpischev was invited to a comedy show staged by Ivan Urgant, a host of many similar routines in the past.
2. No media ever mentioned that Tarpischev was prompted to say that by Urgant, who changed the pronoun so that it would refer to the male gender.
3. Many reported blamed the tennis chief for interjecting before former WTA star Elena Dementieva was able to answer. It’s not quite true. It was a lengthy interactive chat designed to provoke humorous comments.
4. Both the host and the tennis boss reiterated their respect and admiration of the athletic prowess of the Williams sisters. It was with awe that they described their physical characteristics.
Tarpischev was right in his attempt to downplay the incident and reject the allegations saying it was a "joke" with no "malicious intent".
He added in a statement: "I didn't want to offend any athlete with my words. I regret that this joke has garnered so much attention. I don't think this incident deserves so much fuss."
Look how stupid the Bleacher Report looks when it tries to treat it as super serious.
“Tarpischev may have thought he was simply making a joke, but instead what he was uprooting was a far more complex issue. Many female athletes struggle to earn the same sort of respect as their male counterparts; they are also fighting to show that femininity and beauty aren't restricted to the delicate or dainty, but can be represented in athleticism and physical strength.”
5. They surely are not aware that Tarpischev has been in involved in women’s tennis for decades. 

Here's the link to the show.

Author: Mikhail Vesely


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