BBC commentator John Inverdale has reportedly written to Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli and apologised for his insensitive comments against the French player.
Inverdale had commented on Bartoli's looks on Radio 5, in the run-up to Saturday's final against Germany's Sabine Lisicki. "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're never going to be a looker, you'll never be a Sharapova, so you have to be scrappy and fight'?" the commentator had said.
Inverdale has been slammed for the comment, with many people demanding his ouster. On Sunday, he clarified his position and said he regretted the entire eposide. "The point I was trying to make, in a rather ham-fisted kind of way, was that in a world where the public perception of tennis players is that they're all 6ft tall Amazonian athletes, Marion - who is the Wimbledon champion - bucks that trend. I have apologised to Marion by letter if any offence was caused and I do hope that we can leave the matter there now. " he told listeners on his show, according to a report on the BBC website.
Bartoli went on to win the women's singles title and seemed unfazed when asked for a reaction on the comments made against her. "It doesn't matter, honestly. 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," she had said after her title match.
The BBC, however, issued an apology immediately after. "We accept that this remark was insensitive and for that we apologise," a spokesman had said.