1413726864276_Image_galleryImage_SINGAPORE_OCTOBER_19_Sere Clearly the Williams sisters’ status as hard-working, world-renowned tennis champs just isn’t enough to garner everyone’s respect—not even from those who hold high professional posts in the world of tennis.  Shamil Tarpischev, president of the Russian Tennis Federation (RTF) was aptly reprimanded by Serena Williams after he referred to her and her sister Venus as “the Williams brothers” during a talk show appearance on Russian State Television.

According to The Chicago Tribune, the blatant insult came when the show host said, “I was at the Olympics, where Maria Sharapova was in the final, playing with one, with one of the…,” when Tarpischev finished her sentence by saying, “…the Williams brothers,” and also referred to the sisters’ appearances as “scary.”

Tarpischev’s profound lack of professionalism and outright disrespect earned him a $25,000 fine by the Women’s Tennis Association, plus a one-year ban from any WTA tours. Eventually, he issued a formal apology, but not before expressing confusion over his punishment and downplaying his words as a “joke.” Understandably, Williams also had a few poised yet pointed comments regarding the incident.

“I thought they were very insensitive and extremely sexist as well as racist at the same time. I thought they were in a way bullying,” she said. “I’ve done the best that I can do, and that’s all I can say. So I just wasn’t very happy with his comments. I think a lot of people weren’t happy as well.”

Fortunately, Williams wasn’t the only one to openly condemn the remark made by Tarpischev, who is also a member of the International Olympic Committee. The WTA deemed his comment as “demeaning and insulting” and having “absolutely no place in our sport.” Also, Sharapova showed her support, despite having a less-than-amicable relationship with Williams. She echoed the WTA’s sentiments by saying, “It was very inappropriate, especially in his position and all the responsibilities that he has not just in sport, but being part of the Olympic committee. It was just really irresponsible on his side.”

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  • How distgusting! They work too hard for that type of disrespect. I’m satisfied with the swift action of reprimands. There should be zero tolerance of these statements.

    • I take that back. He should be kicked out of the Olympic committee as well.

  • Anthony

    Tennis has shown itself to be a whole lot better than Soccer (FIFA,) which cannot bring itself to harshly crackdown on racists among its members.

    Eastern and Southern Europeans have really shown themselves to be horrible bigots over the last few years. The irony is that their countries would be as poor as much of Africa if it weren’t for Western Europe propping up their white butts!

    • So true. I just heard a BBC report on this issue. It’s disgusting as well. They brought up the fact that there are no major coaches of color despite the amount of players of color that have played on the field.

  • GeekMommaRants

    Racism is a global phenomena, all humans prefer themselves. Europeans lie to themselves as to who they really are or more likely pretend. This is where the anger comes in. When they realize the talent and discipline the Williams sisters have, they feel inferior. Hence, the hatred, but we and the Williams know this.

    • vintage3000

      ITA. Which is why I refuse to believe in such a thingas superiority complex when their most hateful actions/comments/etc come from their numerous insecurities. And like this troll, they are shocked when reprimanded for their stupidity because they believe all fellow white people are ignorant.

      Someone on another site said this guy must have been thinking about the female eastern european women athletes from the 70’s and 80’s.