Thursday, September 20, 2007

Israeli tennis player competing with Richard Krajicek for making most offensive comment ever about women's tennis

Noam Okun, an Israeli ATP player ranked number 186 in the world, had this to say about Shahar Peer's success on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour:

There is too much noise about women's tennis being made here. It is clear that we have a top-15 women's player. I am sure that if there were a top-15 men's player, they would not even be discussing Shahar.

If Dudi [Sela] was No. 50 in the world, they would be discussing him more and writing more about him than Peer. I don't have any desire to talk about women's tennis, because men's tennis is more attractive. It is easy to be successful in the women's, and you can't even compare the two. It is like soccer and women's soccer--there isn't even such a thing as women's soccer. They just invented a sport that didn't even exist.

Though Okun's comments are offensive any which way you look at them, it seems especially offensive to make Peer a target. No one on the tour works harder than Peer; she is a sports professional through and through, and has put in a lot of hours and weeks and months to attain her ranking. And who, I want to know, put Okun in charge of determining whose tennis is "more attractive"?

Perhaps the most offensive comment of all, though, is the one about women's soccer, a "sport that didn't even exist." What Okun is saying is that only men may play soccer, that once a woman goes onto the soccer field, she has transformed soccer into something else that does not even qualify as a sport. Funny...if you watch women play soccer, it looks for all the world that they are

This is some deep-rooted misogyny. Only a real woman-hater would be so threatened by Shahar Peer that he would attack all womankind on her account.

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