Wertheim's Mailbag: Sharapova comment controversy - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 44 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 2006, 01:06 AM Thread Starter
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Wertheim's Mailbag: Sharapova comment controversy

From Jon Wertheim's Mailbag

As a Japanese, I was offended by the following exchange in Sharapova's SF post match interview:

Q: Why do you think you're so popular in Asia? What are the reasons?

SHARAPOVA: In Asia, well, I'm blonde, and when people see someone that's blonde, they go crazy over there.

This sounds racially insensitive by itself, but especially so because she just made millions off of those people by her exhibition tour in Asia, all the while paying lip service like "I love coming here! Fans here are so special!" Her fans think I'm overreacting. Your take?
-- Akiyo, Urayasu, Japan

First, while I'm probably not the ideal person to arbitrate this, big props to Akiyo for opening this to discussion and questioning her interpretation, rather than simply casting aside Sharapova as a bigot. ("Civil discourse fever: catch it!")

Jon Wertheim's take: Sharapova's remarks don't represent the pinnacle of sensitivity. Nothing quite like generalizing about four billion people. On the other hand, she's not really saying anything inherently pejorative. (Had she said, say, "Those Asians, they go crazy for illicit drugs, black market firearms, Rob Schneider movies and the Joan/Melissa Rivers combo," it would be another story.) We should cut her some slack, getting asked this fairly random question right after a Grand Slam loss. Also, the question is a bit leading, especially given the context. Had she responded, "They like me for my tennis," the obvious follow-up: then why don't the three players ranked ahead of you have nearly the same currency?

So someone ought to circle this exchange in the transcript and explain to Sharapova that she could have been more sensitive and thoughtful, especially because this market is so vital to the P/E ratio of Sharapova, Inc. But I think the sackcloth and ashes can remain in the closet. If any of you have a different take, I'm happy to hear it.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Any comments guys?

IMO, I can't find anything wrong or race-sensitive in what Sharapova said.
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post #2 of 44 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 2006, 01:11 AM
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The person who wrote the question is being way overly sensitive. I hope he/she doesn't burn down an embassy or anything over it.

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post #3 of 44 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 2006, 01:33 AM
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nothing wrong with maria's comments, people are too sensitive

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post #4 of 44 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 2006, 01:40 AM
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post #5 of 44 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 2006, 01:43 AM
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Well, many Western men think that Asian women are incredibly hot...I guess I am a racist or sumthing for saying this out loud...
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post #6 of 44 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 2006, 01:44 AM
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rediculous
we mighy as well not say anything anymore.

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post #7 of 44 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 2006, 01:47 AM
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Personally I don't think that is offensive at all... I agree, people are overly sensitive about things today. You can't really say anything w/o offending someone...
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post #8 of 44 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 2006, 01:49 AM
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I don't see anything wrong with Maria's answer.
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post #9 of 44 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 2006, 01:51 AM
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Hmmm I'm thinking Akiyo is from this board... ...we had a thread like this a few weeks ago and this topic has been debated already.

Maria Sharapova
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post #10 of 44 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 2006, 01:52 AM
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silly generalisation, but i don't look of profound logic in post match interview from Maria.

People need to give her a break for everything she does wrong
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post #11 of 44 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 2006, 01:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bellascarlett
Hmmm I'm thinking Akiyo is from this board... ...
I was thinking the same thing.
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post #12 of 44 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 2006, 01:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedem
I was thinking the same thing.

Maria Sharapova
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post #13 of 44 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 2006, 01:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SelesFan70
The person who wrote the question is being way overly sensitive. I hope he/she doesn't burn down an embassy or anything over it.
I know right, those Japanese are offended so easily. Just keep "going crazy" for those blondes and buying Sharapova perfume like western white society wants you to and shut up.

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post #14 of 44 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 2006, 01:58 AM
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Well to be fair, the person who wrote the question is from Japan, so they have a different perspective then us . Personally, I don't find anything offensive about the comment, especially with the clear success of other blondes over there *cough*Paris*cough*.

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post #15 of 44 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 2006, 02:00 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bellascarlett
Hmmm I'm thinking Akiyo is from this board... ...we had a thread like this a few weeks ago and this topic has been debated already.
I guess you're right. Akiyo is probably not Asian but more like a Masha detractor from the Wtaworld board who just want to diss her.

he, he
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