BBC Guy on Wimbledon Champ: She's No 'Looker'

John Inverdale is predictably sorry
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2013 2:18 PM CDT
BBC Guy on Wimbledon Champ: She's No 'Looker'
Marion Bartoli speaks at a news conference after winning the Women's singles final match against Sabine Lisicki at Wimbledon, London, Saturday, July 6, 2013.   (AP Photo/AELTC, Tom Lovelock)

Apparently, the fact that Wimbledon is a test of athletic prowess with no evening gown competition has been lost on at least one BBC announcer, who is backpedaling as mightily as he is gracelessly after inferring that yesterday's women's champ, Marion Bartoli, had to work hard because she's "never going to be a looker." The BBC itself is backing away from John Inverdale, notes NPR, calling the comment "insensitive and for that we apologize." For his part, Inverdale first tried to qualify his remark, saying, "She is an incredible role model for people who aren't born with all the attributes of natural athletes," before issuing a letter of apology and calling his comment "ham-fisted."

Bartoli, 28, reacted with class: "It doesn't matter, honestly. I am not blonde, yes. That is a fact. Have I dreamt about having a model contract? No. I'm sorry. But have I dreamed about winning Wimbledon? Absolutely, yes. And to share this moment with my dad was absolutely amazing and I am so proud of it." (Read more Wimbledon stories.)

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