France’s Marion Bartoli had a career breakthrough on Saturday by winning the Wimbledon Ladies Championship, her first Grand Slam title. As she was celebrating her victory, the BBC had to apologize for commentator John Inverdale who made some disparaging remarks about Bartoli before her win against Sabine Lisicki.
On BBC Radio, Inverdale who has covered many major events for the network including Wimbledon and the Olympics came out with the following comments in describing Baroli:
“I just wonder if her dad, because he has obviously been the most influential person in her life, did say to her when she was 12, 13, 14 maybe, ‘listen, you are never going to be, you know, a looker.'”
“‘You are never going to be somebody like a Sharapova, you’re never going to be 5ft 11, you’re never going to be somebody with long legs, so you have to compensate for that.”
Unfortunately, women in chess have also faced sexism for a long time. I have heard countless comments much worse than this over the years. I simply ignored these people and continued to focus on my chess.
Bartoli should be praised for her hard work and determination to win Wimbledon. She did not deserve this.