Tennis fans have criticised political commentator Ben Shapiro following his comments on tennis icon Serena Williams.
Shapiro, who hosts The Ben Shapiro Show, took aim at the now retired American and argued that she would not be famous if athletes were not separated by gender.
The 38-year-old referenced how Williams once lost to former male player, Karsten Braasch, in 1998. The German player was ranked 203rd in the world at the time and beat Serena and sister Venus in consecutive sets.
“If women and men were not separated by sex in sports, nobody ever would have heard of Serena Williams. That’s not sexism. It’s reality.”
Fans react to Shapiro’s claims
Many fans were quick to slam Shapiro’s comments.
“Why did he pick like the one woman that would still absolutely dominate if she played against men,” stressed one.
Another referenced the great Billie Jean King, who famously beat Bobby Riggs in straight sets to win the Battle of the Sexes match in 1973.
“Try to say that to Billie Jean King,” they wrote.
A third echoed this argument and stressed: “No, it’s misogyny. Guess you are too young to know about Billie Jean King defeating Bobby Riggs in 1973, in an exhibition match, winning $100,000. So tennis was a good pick for your chauvinist comment.”
Others simply emphasised that Shapiro had no right to be commenting on such issues.
“Benjamin would crumple after one serve from Mrs. Williams,” someone said.
Benjamin would crumple after one serve from Mrs. Williams— JIMMY DARKO (@TheyCallMeDark0) September 19, 2022
What’s next for Williams?
After a remarkable career that spanned more than three decades, Williams announced she was putting down her racquet for good earlier this month.
The US star retires with 23 Grand Slam singles titles to her name, including each of the four majors at least three times.
Williams also has 14 doubles majors to her name and four Olympic gold medals.
While Williams did not manage to win a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title, she has emphasised her desire to do things that tennis had previously prevented her from doing.
Speaking on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, she stated: “There are so many things that I’ve been wanting to do for so many years and I’ve had such a passion for tennis for so long that I’ve never done them.
“Now it’s time for me to start to enjoy those things.”