Serena Williams’ husband and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian has rushed to her defense on Twitter, responding to criticism from Ion Tiriac, a former tennis pro and the current owner of the Madrid Open tournament. It all started when Tiriac controversially commented on Williams age and weight on TV. “At this age and the weight she is now, she does not move as easily as he did 15 years ago,” he said on a show broadcasted by Romanian public channel TVR (via UBI Tennis).
He then went on to criticize her playing ability. “Serena was a sensational player,” he continued, adding, “If she had a little decency, she would retire! From all points of view.” This rightly outraged Ohanian, who was quick to hit back on Twitter. “2021 and no holding back when a racist/sexist clown with a platform comes for my family,” he wrote, adding, “Safe to say no one gives a damn what Ion Țiriac thinks.”
This isn't the first time Ion Tiriach has criticized Williams
Unbelievably, this isn’t the first time Ion Tiriach has criticised Serena Williams. As the New York Times reports, Tiriac first commented on the star’s age and weight in 2018 when asked about the state of women’s tennis by German publication Sport Bild. Williams, who’s won 23 Grand Slam singles trophies, we might add, has just returned from maternity leave.
Her response to the criticism at the time? Simply rise above it. “I always say people are entitled to their opinion,” she told the New York Times. “Clearly there’s more to women’s tennis than me. There’s a lot more, but I’ll have words with him, believe me, I’ll have words with him. It’s an ignorant comment, and it’s a sexist comment, and maybe he’s an ignorant man.” Given Tiriach’s recent comments, it’s hard to know whether or not the two spoke, but we can only assume this time round she’s choosing to rise above it again.
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