Yesterday during the TV coverage of the women’s tennis final at Wimbleton (England), in the early stages of the broadcast, viewers were exposed to a very unfortunate comment from a well-known, outspoken ‘analyst’, John McEnroe.
Mr. McEnroe is well known to anyone who’s followed tennis in the last two decades. A successful left-handed professional player, including in major tournaments, he has made the transition to the broadcast booth. Regrettably, his often seen and heard mini-rants as a player retain traces of belligerence as on-air commentator.
He’s been known to push his foot toward his mouth in previous broadcasts, but yesterday he pushed it all in, clearly stepping over the line. As the match was beginning, in reference to Eugenie Bouchard as a pusher of levels reached by a Canadian player, he felt it pithy to declare that her appearance as a Canadian was the first in about one thousand years. Briefly after this, perhaps due to surreptitiously expressed reaction from others in the broadcast, he amended this to a still large, but much less outrageous, number of one hundred.
This sort of careless and caustic use of language by a sports commentator for such a large, prestigious, and multinational event should not be acceptable. It reflects poorly on the speaker and dims the glow of the broadcast.