The Tennis Announcer Who Was Fired By ESPN For Using The Word "Guerrilla" in Reference To Venus Williams Is Suing
AwfulAnnouncing- Last month at the Australian Open, Doug Adler who was calling matches on ESPN3 and DirecTV was fired by the Worldwide Leader. It over a comment during the Venus Williams-Stefanie Voegele match which he claims was misinterpreted.
Adler said the comment he used was “guerrilla” as in a soldier or military tactics. There was outrage on Twitter saying Adler said “gorilla” instead of “guerrilla” The comment was “You see Venus move in and put the guerrilla effect on … charging.”
TMZ is reporting that Adler is suing ESPN over the incident and that now he can’t find work because “no one will hire a ‘racist.'” And he points out that he’s “anything but a racist.”
Adler says Twitter freaked out and misunderstood what he was trying to say — wrongly interpreting the comment as racist. Instead, Adler says the term is NOT racist, but rather a “frequently used” word in tennis to describe an aggressive style of play. In fact, Adler says Nike ran a tennis campaign back in the ’90s called “Guerrilla Tennis.”
Adler says ESPN understood what he meant but made him apologize anyway … only to fire him a short time later.
Welp, you can throw this lawsuit out the window. I mean, it's about damn time we got serious about racism in sports, and what better place to start than blackballing (I swear that's not a racial term, don't fire me!) a tennis announcer that attempted to veil his prejudice through the matter-of-fact use of a homophone? Can you fucking believe this guy? Trying to use a calm, hushed tone and obvious athletic context to sneak his belief that all African Americans are monkeys into the broadcast? Here I was thinking that most prejudice assholes tend to sound overly emotional and spiteful when they use dangerously discriminatory rhetoric. As it turns out, Doug Alder just proved that the real people you have to look out for are those whose blatant bigotry could easily be misinterpreted as jargon for the sport they are being paid to explain in detail to a viewing audience.
Seriously though, Doug Alder was fired because of this one insanely innocent incident? I still don't know if "guerrilla" is a commonly used term in tennis, but I'm pretty certain that an old white guy didn't pause to collect his thoughts only to nickname a black woman's in-game strategy after an ape. I realize that giving anyone the benefit of the doubt in 2017 is a huge risk and I apologize if I am actually defending the most subtle, creative, intolerant dickhead of all time, but I hope he wins this lawsuit. If only to prove that common sense - as rare as it may be - still has a place in society. What Doug Alder said was unfortunate and dumb given the current PC culture, but calling it "racist" is an insult to actual victims of racism.