ESPN tennis commentator, Doug Adler, has been fired for apparently comparing Venus Williams to a gorilla.
According to ESPN, Adler says he never intentionally meant to insult the sportswoman; he wanted to describe her tenacious performance at the Australian Open as a ‘guerrilla’ tactic, a word that is pronounced similarly as the racial slur, ‘gorilla’.
The drama started on Wednesday following Williams face off with Stefanie Voegele. Adler was doing a play-by-play commentary and as he spoke of how aggressive Williams was when compared to Voegele, he chose the ‘wrong’ word which immediately sparked worldwide outrage, with many people calling for him to be fired.
The network has released a statement in which it confirmed that it has pulled Doug Adler from future broadcasts. While the statement insisted that the commentator never meant to use the wrong word, it noted that he should have been more careful with the words he utters.
“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,” the statement read.
Venus Williams is yet to react to this update.