Fired For Venus Williams Remark, Ex-Commentator Sues ESPN

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A tennis commentator dropped by ESPN for a remark about Venus Williams during the Australian Open has sued the sports network for wrongful termination.

Former tennis pro Doug Adler maintains he was describing Williams’ aggressive style last month as “guerrilla” tactics and not comparing her with a “gorilla.”

He apologized for his poor word choice but was let go from ESPN mid-tournament.

Adler filed suit Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, saying he has wrongly been branded a racist and lost work because of the controversy. The suit calls for punitive financial damages, but doesn’t name an amount.

ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys says the network has not seen the lawsuit and has no comment.

Offended viewers called for Adler to be fired because they believed he had compared Williams, who is African-American, with a gorilla.

(© Copyright 2017  The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. John Larson says:

    The thought police in action. They are going to “dumb down” our language so that there is no opportunity for colorful language to describe athletics. I don’t know this man, but my question would be, does he have a history of racism? Does he have an ax to grind against Venus? If so, perhaps it was intentional, but if not, is it not possible to give someone the benefit of the doubt. I don’t know if I would have chosen the word “gorilla,” not because of race, but because I’m not sure any woman would like herself to be described as a gorilla. Maybe he can call her a killer whale because they are black and white! 🙂

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