John McEnroe Won't Apologize for Comments on Serena Williams

He 'didn't know it would create a controversy'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 27, 2017 6:15 PM CDT
John McEnroe Won't Apologize for Comments on Serena Williams
John McEnroe on Tuesday refused to apologize for his comments regarding Serena Williams.   (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

John McEnroe refused to apologize Tuesday after claiming that Serena Williams would only be ranked 700th or so if she played against men rather than women, Time reports. McEnroe induced a wave of ire, including some from Williams herself, after making the comment Sunday on NPR. On Tuesday he told CBS This Morning he "didn't know it would create a controversy" but wouldn't be apologizing. According to HuffPost, McEnroe said he didn't want to "upset" Williams and cause "anything to go wrong" with her pregnancy.

While McEnroe apparently isn't sorry for his comments about Williams, he said he is sorry tennis players are constantly asked to rank each other. He said people are "always asking about how women" would do playing against him. In a joking re-ranking of history's greatest tennis players, McEnroe put Williams fifth overall, asking, "You happy now?" He said he would rank about 1,200th out of women's tennis players at his current age of 58, USA Today reports. The Washington Post has the video of McEnroe's appearance on CBS This Morning. (More John McEnroe stories.)

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