BBC radio and television broadcaster John Inverdale ensured the BBC received over 674 complaints regarding comments he made about the female Wimbledon Champion Marion Bartoli’s appearance. Inverdale passed comments prior to the Saturday final on Radio 5 Live.
I just wonder if her dad, because he has obviously been the most influential person in her life, did say to her when she was 12, 13, 14 maybe, ‘listen, you are never going to be, you know, a looker.
You are never going to be somebody like a Sharapova, you’re never going to be 5ft 11, you’re never going to be somebody with long legs, so you have to compensate for that.
The comments made by Inverdale received a lot of negative attention on Twitter.
John Inverdale needs to go. @bbc5live Are you going to allow him to carry on? Comments re Bartoli are appalling.
— Richard Kent (@richardkent) July 6, 2013
The BBC released a statement:
John is one of our most experienced presenters. The BBC has apologised for the comment made before Saturday’s final, as has John himself. John has also written a personal apology to Marion Bartoli.
Inverdale referred to the comments he had previously made regarding Bartoli and addressed the issue before the men’s single final on Sunday. Inverdale said:
Before we start, I’d like to return to yesterday and a clumsy phrase that I used about Marion Bartoli which has understandably caused something of a furore.
The point I was trying to make in a rather ham-fisted kind of way is that the public perception of tennis players is that they’re all 6 feet-tall Amazonian athletes.
Marion, who is the Wimbledon champion, bucks that trend, and she is a fantastic example to all young people that it’s attitude, and will and determination together obviously with talent that in the end gets you to the top.
I’ve apologised to Marion by letter if any offence was caused and I do hope that we can leave the matter there.
Bartoli responded to the comments made by Inverdale on Radio 5, she said:
I am not blonde, yes. That is a fact. Have I dreamt about having a model contract? No. I’m sorry. But have I dreamed about winning Wimbledon? Absolutely, yes.
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