A few weeks back, I ran into a spot of turbulence when I published a mildly sexist post about Ms Fiona Shackleton, Sir Paul McCartney's solicitor. The BBC brought the matter to the attention of the wider public, and specifically Cardiff MP, Ms Jenny Willott, who roundly condemned what I'd written. As a consequence of the publicity, this blog's visitor total for that day shot up to a 1000, from its usual 300 or so. Now just imagine what would have happened if I'd written the sort of things that Justin Gimelstob said on the American radio programme, The Junkies.
Now, Mr Gimelstob is an important person in the tennis world. He's a former Australian and French Open Champion (mixed doubles) and has just been elected to the ATP board, which controls the men's game. This is a sample of what he said, as reported in today's Telegraph.
He judged Tatiana Golovin and Alize Cornet of France to be respectively "a sexpot" and "a little sexpot". He also described Czech Nicole Vaidisova to be "a well developed young lady". And all of this on air, going out live. He was altogether less complimentary about Anna Kournikova, whom I think I'm allowed to describe as an extremely attractive young woman. "She's a bitch .....I despise her the maximum level below hate" said Justin to his American audience. When asked if he himself would like to walk out with Anna (I'm trying to be proper) he said "I have no attraction for her. She has a great body but her face is a five" - and went on to say that he wouldn't mind having his "younger brother, who's a kind of a stud, nail her and reap the benefits of that." Blimey. Don't even think about politics Justin.
Mr Gimelstob has apologised to all those offended, and conceded that he could see how his words could have been taken as not having the greatest respect for women. He still plays professionally in the World Team Tennis Pro League. His punishment for the above was to be suspended for one match without pay. I bet that makes the offended ladies feel better.