Contributor Post Created with Sketch. John McEnroe, 1 – PC Silliness, 0

 

I like it when people speak simple truths in the face of vapid political correctness. John McEnroe did that last weekend, and is experiencing the predictable pushback from an aggrieved press.

In his book But Seriously, McEnroe describes Serena Williams as the best female player in the world. When asked about that in an interview on NPR, McEnroe amplified the comment, saying that Williams is the “best female player ever. No question.”

High praise — but not high enough for NPR interviewer Lulu Garcia-Navarro, who observed that some people would dispense with the qualifying word “female,” and simply claim that Williams is “the best player in the world.” She then challenged McEnroe, asking “Why qualify it?”

McEnroe, to his credit, responded appropriately. He suggested that, if Williams played the men’s circuit, “she’d be like 700th in the world.” He then went on to further praise Ms. Williams, without endorsing the nonsensical view that she would be an effective competitor in the world of men’s professional tennis.

We are too often asked to parrot absurdity in the name of political correctness. I applaud Mr. McEnroe for refusing to yield to demands that he apologize for what were both gracious and correct statements.


For what it’s worth, Serena Williams has herself said that men’s and women’s tennis are effectively different sports, and that she could never compete in men’s tennis. As she said a few years ago, “I only want to play girls, because I don’t want to be embarrassed.”

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  1. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Henry Racette: High praise — but not high enough for NPR interviewer Lulu Garcia-Navarro, who observed that some people would dispense with the qualifying word “female,” and simply claim that Williams is “the best player in the world.” She then challenged McEnroe, asking “Why qualify it?”

    That is the context that nightly news leaves out. They make it sound like he just went out of his way to throw out that comment.

    • #1
    • June 29, 2017, at 7:44 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  2. Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler Member

    Or is that 15 – Love, McEnroe?

    Tennis scoring is so weird.

    • #2
    • June 29, 2017, at 7:55 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  3. AUMom Member
    AUMom Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I saw the interview with some commentary. It compared all of Serena Williams’ titles with men who have not won as many. What got lost in the whole thing is that the men played other men and Serena always played women’s tennis. At no time, were any of Serena’s title won playing a man.

    • #3
    • June 29, 2017, at 8:03 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  4. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    AUMom (View Comment):
    I saw the interview with some commentary. It compared all of Serena Williams’ titles with men who have not won as many. What got lost in the whole thing is that the men played other men and Serena always played women’s tennis. At no time, were any of Serena’s title won playing a man.

    This is really a fabricated dispute. No serious person would argue that Serena Williams, as wonderfully talented as she is, is the best tennis player in the world when both male and female players are considered.

    When asked to apologize, McEnroe should have asked “for what, exactly? For stating a number with which you disagree, or for having the audacity to voice it?”

    Charles Murray could give exactly the same answer when challenged about his work.

    • #4
    • June 29, 2017, at 8:11 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  5. Mike H Coolidge

    It might be a legitimate and interesting question to ask, is Williams a larger outlier among women than the best player among men?

    I mean, sure, it goes without saying she’s not better than most men, but that’s boring to even spend time acknowledging.

    • #5
    • June 29, 2017, at 9:10 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  6. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    Mike H (View Comment):
    It might be a legitimate and interesting question to ask, is Williams a larger outlier among women than the best player among men?

    I’m not sure we want to spend too much time delving into the particulars of her performance advantages over other women players. I’m content to just observe that she’s an amazing player.

    • #6
    • June 29, 2017, at 9:17 PM PDT
    • Like
  7. I Walton Member

    You can not be serious!

    • #7
    • June 30, 2017, at 6:06 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  8. Columbo Member

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: High praise — but not high enough for NPR interviewer Lulu Garcia-Navarro, who observed that some people would dispense with the qualifying word “female,” and simply claim that Williams is “the best player in the world.” She then challenged McEnroe, asking “Why qualify it?”

    That is the context that nightly news leaves out. They make it sound like he just went out of his way to throw out that comment.

    Exactly! And kudos to John McEnroe for not giving the politically correct answer Lulu insisted upon.

    • #8
    • June 30, 2017, at 6:08 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  9. Columbo Member

    I Walton (View Comment):
    You can not be serious!

    • #9
    • June 30, 2017, at 6:09 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  10. Front Seat Cat Member

    Williams said on an interview only a few years ago that men are much stronger, more aggressive and hit harder and that she would lose – it’s why she’d never play against a guy in a tournament because she would lose, so McEnroe was speaking the truth.

    • #10
    • June 30, 2017, at 6:13 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  11. PHenry Member

    Today, apparently, it is unacceptable to believe that male athletes have some advantages over female athletes. (Same for marines, firemen, you name it…) They must be considered physically equal, and no evidence to the contrary is relevant. Progressives want it to be so, and it is triggering to point out that it isn’t.

    Serena knows its true. She just also knows that you are not allowed to think it, and truth is no defense.

    • #11
    • June 30, 2017, at 6:20 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  12. Columbo Member

    PHenry (View Comment):
    Today, apparently, it is unacceptable to believe that male athletes have some advantages over female athletes. (Same for marines, firemen, you name it…) They must be considered physically equal, and no evidence to the contrary is relevant. Progressives want it to be so, and it is triggering to point out that it isn’t.

    Serena knows its true. She just also knows that you are not allowed to think it, and truth is no defense.

    Reminds me of a President Reagan quote ….

    • #12
    • June 30, 2017, at 6:24 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  13. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I am waiting for that special, special day when a Federal judge decides that sex segregated sports violates Title IX and the 14th Amendment.

    I really want to see Brittney Griner try to defend LeBron James for 48 minutes. I really want to see the former LPGA hit from the back tees. I really want to see Serena take on Andy Murray.

    Before we shove women out onto the battlefield, let them prove their equality from the safety of the playing field.

    • #13
    • June 30, 2017, at 6:27 AM PDT
    • 18 likes
  14. Grey Lady Inactive

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: High praise — but not high enough for NPR interviewer Lulu Garcia-Navarro, who observed that some people would dispense with the qualifying word “female,” and simply claim that Williams is “the best player in the world.” She then challenged McEnroe, asking “Why qualify it?”

    That is the context that nightly news leaves out. They make it sound like he just went out of his way to throw out that comment.

    That’s what has irked me about this exchange. They were speaking about men’s players and the interviewer then deliberately turned McEnroe’s attention to “female players.” Not that McEnroe needs any lessons in snark from me, but I think if I were in his seat and the interviewer asked why he would qualify it, I would respond, “Because YOU asked me about female players so I am answering your question.” The whole segment smacked of a set up. Good for McEnroe for not playing this silly game.

    • #14
    • June 30, 2017, at 6:30 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  15. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    World track and field records for women.

    https://www.trackandfieldnews.com/index.php/records/30-records/278-womens-outdoor-world-records

    High School track and field records for males for a small to medium population state (in this example, Wisconsin)

    https://www.wiaawi.org/Portals/0/PDF/Results/Track/State_Records/brecords.pdf

    women boys
    100 meter 10.49 10.33
    200 meter 21.34 20.68
    400 meter 47.6 47.12
    800 meter 1:53:28 01:51.5
    400 relay 40.82 41.5
    800 relay 01:27.5 01:26.8
    3200 relay 07:50.2 07:39.4
    pole vault 16-7 1/4 16-1
    high jump 6-10 1/4 7-0
    long jump 24-8 1/4 25-0 3/4
    triple jump 50 10 1/4 49-2 1/4
    discus 252 -1* 193-3  (*East German team, so may not actually be women)
    shot put 74-3 67-6
    • #15
    • June 30, 2017, at 6:33 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  16. Grey Lady Inactive

    My comment #14 somehow got posted twice. Deleted the duplicate (I hope)

    • #16
    • June 30, 2017, at 6:35 AM PDT
    • Like
  17. Columbo Member

    EJHill (View Comment):
    I am waiting for that special, special day when a Federal judge decides that sex segregated sports violates Title IX and the 14th Amendment.

    I really want to see Brittney Griner try to defend LeBron James for 48 minutes. I really want to see the former LPGA hit from the back tees. I really want to see Serena take on Andy Murray.

    Before we shove women out onto the battlefield, let them prove their equality from the safety of the playing field.

    Exactly. It would be fun in sports, if only to poke a finger in the eye of the liberal orthodoxy that holds there is no difference at all between the “sexes” and that anyone can choose their own gender.

    However, when it comes to firemen, police or the armed forces, and not merely sports, it is not fun and games. It is life and death.

    • #17
    • June 30, 2017, at 6:37 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  18. JcTPatriot Inactive

    Serena later Tweeted: “I’ve never played anyone ranked “there” nor do I have time. Respect me and my privacy as I’m trying to have a baby. Good day sir”

    Says the woman who just posed completely naked and pregnant on the cover of a magazine.

    Respect her and her privacy.

    • #18
    • June 30, 2017, at 6:38 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  19. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    JcTPatriot (View Comment):
    as I’m trying to have a baby

    I wasn’t aware there was a lot of “trying” involved once you’re already pregnant. As I understand the process (I have two kids), it pretty much takes care of itself.

    • #19
    • June 30, 2017, at 6:55 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  20. quikwit Inactive

    If only we had a way to find out if Serena could beat top men’s players…

    Say, what’s this? From the Wikipedia article on Serena Williams:

    A 16-year-old Serena competed in a tennis “Battle of the Sexes”, along with her sister Venus Williams, against Karsten Braasch at the 1998 Australian Open. At the time Braasch was ranked 203rd. The Williams sisters had claimed they could beat any man outside the top 200, and he accepted the challenge. Not known for having an ideal training regimen, Braasch nonetheless beat both Williams sisters, playing a single set against each. The score vs Serena was 6–1 and vs Venus 6–2. Braasch said afterwards, “500 and above, no chance.” The girls later tweaked the number to beating men outside the top 350.

    (Granted, this was in 1998, before Serena was at her best)

    • #20
    • June 30, 2017, at 7:16 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  21. Jim Beck Member

    Morning Quikwit,

    The only picture I have ever seen of Karsten is with him smoking, so your comment on his training is slightly understated. Thanks for reminding us of this earlier contest.

    • #21
    • June 30, 2017, at 7:26 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  22. Johnny Dubya Inactive

    “Why qualify it?”

    Because one must, if words mean anything.

    One wouldn’t say without qualification that Manny Pacquiao is the greatest boxer of all time, because he is a welterweight who would get creamed by a heavyweight. In boxing, however, there are discussions of who was the best “P4P” (pound-for-pound). That’s what’s called a qualification.

    What would be an assessment of Serena Williams analogous to boxing’s “P4P”? That she is the greatest based on time dominant in the sport? On number of titles? On technique, conditioning, and athleticism? Those are all qualifications.

    To say that someone is the greatest of all time, without qualification, when there are countless others who would have beaten her handily, is an absurdity.

    • #22
    • June 30, 2017, at 8:12 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  23. Bullwinkle Member

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: High praise — but not high enough for NPR interviewer Lulu Garcia-Navarro, who observed that some people would dispense with the qualifying word “female,” and simply claim that Williams is “the best player in the world.” She then challenged McEnroe, asking “Why qualify it?”

    That is the context that nightly news leaves out. They make it sound like he just went out of his way to throw out that comment.

    That is what gets to me. All the news outlets are discussing how could McEnroe say this?!? He was answering a question for goodness sake. Did you really want him to say yes she is better than men?

    • #23
    • June 30, 2017, at 8:43 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  24. Terry Mott Member

    EJHill (View Comment):
    I am waiting for that special, special day when a Federal judge decides that sex segregated sports violates Title IX and the 14th Amendment.

    I really want to see Brittney Griner try to defend LeBron James for 48 minutes. I really want to see the former LPGA hit from the back tees. I really want to see Serena take on Andy Murray.

    Before we shove women out onto the battlefield, let them prove their equality from the safety of the playing field.

    I suspect this wouldn’t work out like you’re expecting. The men would simply be declared guilty of having male priviledge, and the fact that the women couldn’t compete would be proof of the inherent sexism in the system.

    Edit to add: I’m not being snarky here. I predict this is exactly what would happen.

    • #24
    • June 30, 2017, at 9:25 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  25. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):
    discus 252 -1* 193-3 (*East German team, so may not actually be women)

    shot put 74-3 67-6

    With the throws, women use lighter implements (and yeah, East Germany was scary)

    • #25
    • June 30, 2017, at 9:33 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  26. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    I Walton (View Comment):
    You can not be serious!

    I can — but only for brief intervals. It’s something with which I struggle.

    • #26
    • June 30, 2017, at 12:50 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  27. Hypatia Inactive

    Oh please. Is the news like Broadway, where all we get is revivals? I bet Williams could beat McEnroe; he must be pretty old by now. Just like Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs.

    But, as she recognizes: against a guy her peer: No way.

    Men are physically stronger than women. That’s it. Women have more stamina. And a young woman may be stronger than an old man. Definitely will be, if he’s old enough.

    these pathetic stories about trans-girls participating in women’s sports–and, duh! Winning!–prove you can’t fool Mother Nature.

    Why I like shooting: there, men and women compete on an equal basis.

    • #27
    • June 30, 2017, at 2:57 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  28. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Terry MottI suspect this wouldn’t work out like you’re expecting. The men would simply be declared guilty of having male priviledge, and the fact that the women couldn’t compete would be proof of the inherent sexism in the system.

    One thing I’ve learned in 34 years in television is that you can lead a horse to a TV but you can’t make it watch women’s sports.

    • #28
    • June 30, 2017, at 6:42 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  29. JcTPatriot Inactive

    quikwit (View Comment):
    If only we had a way to find out if Serena could beat top men’s players…

    Say, what’s this? From the Wikipedia article on Serena Williams:

    A 16-year-old Serena competed in a tennis “Battle of the Sexes”, along with her sister Venus Williams, against Karsten Braasch at the 1998 Australian Open. At the time Braasch was ranked 203rd. The Williams sisters had claimed they could beat any man outside the top 200, and he accepted the challenge. Not known for having an ideal training regimen, Braasch nonetheless beat both Williams sisters, playing a single set against each. The score vs Serena was 6–1 and vs Venus 6–2. Braasch said afterwards, “500 and above, no chance.” The girls later tweaked the number to beating men outside the top 350.

    (Granted, this was in 1998, before Serena was at her best)

    That is incredible. I have never heard that story, and yet, it is exactly the answer to all this nonsense. The argument might change as to whether she could be in the top 700 or 600 or whatever, but there is no doubt she would not be well-ranked in men’s tennis.

    • #29
    • June 30, 2017, at 8:13 PM PDT
    • Like
  30. JcTPatriot Inactive

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    JcTPatriot (View Comment):
    as I’m trying to have a baby

    I wasn’t aware there was a lot of “trying” involved once you’re already pregnant. As I understand the process (I have two kids), it pretty much takes care of itself.

    Yeah, I cut the cord on both my kids, and I was not aware that “trying to have a baby” involved not talking about the mother in public, and also the mother being very private. Most mothers I know have it all wrong; they seem to tell everyone they know and half the people they don’t know that there’s a bun in the oven.

    • #30
    • June 30, 2017, at 8:17 PM PDT
    • 2 likes

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