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Did an ESPN tennis commentator mean gorilla or guerrilla when he described Venus Williams’ style of play? Either way, a racist attitude surfaced in his choice of words.

ESPN reports that it pulled Doug Adler from its broadcast booth on Thursday. The network gave this reason for the decision:

“During an Australian Open stream on ESPN3, Doug Adler should have been more careful in his word selection. He apologized, and we have removed him from his remaining assignments.”

During play-by-play commentary on Williams’ match against Stefanie Voegele, Adler said Williams was aggressive, moving in and charging with a “gorilla effect.”


Twitter lit up with calls for his removal:

In his apology, Adler said he was referring to Williams’ tactics and strategy on the court and “simply and inadvertently chose the wrong word to describe her play,” ESPN reported.



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ESPN Removes Commentator For On-Air ‘Gorilla’ Description Of Venus Williams  was originally published on