What is it about athletes that make them completely self-absorbed assholes? Is it the unlimited amounts of fame, power, and money? Rhetorical question (note: if The Machine had unlimited amounts of fame, power, and money, we’d be even bigger d-bags). Also, why do they think they’re experts on everything, and can say and do whatever they want with no repercussions? Probably that whole fame, power, and money thing, plus the fact that no one ever tells them no.
Did anyone think Lenny Dykstra’s investment management business was going to succeed? How about Curt Schilling’s video game company? Should Michael Jordan be making high-level basketball decisions (two words: Kwame Brown), and what the fuck is Dennis Rodman doing in North Korea? Update: Lenny just got released from prison for serving time for bankruptcy fraud, Curt’s video game company, 38 Studios, has declared bankruptcy, MJ continues to run the Charlotte Bobcats into the ground (seriously, just look at their roster), and the Worm…well, he just may be brokering a peace treaty with Kim Jung-un.
What’s next? Well, The Machine’s hoping to add “Slap a Ho: A Guide to Finding Mrs. Right” by Pacman Jones to our summer reading list.
Anywho, it’s this total lack of self-awareness that brings Serena Williams into our crosshairs. Serena is currently the best women’s tennis player on the planet, and will likely go down as one of the all-time greats (she’s an obvious Top 5 and likely Top 3). But her success on the court has not translated to success off the court. In fact, off the court she’s a hot mess. Recently, she sat down for an interview with Rolling Stone, where she let loose on a barrage of crazy talk. Here’s her comments on the Steubenville Rape Case.
“Do you think it was fair, what they [the convicted rapists] got? They did something stupid, but I don’t know. I’m not blaming the girl, but if you’re a 16-year-old and you’re drunk like that, your parents should teach you: Don’t take drinks from other people. She’s 16, why was she that drunk where she doesn’t remember? It could have been much worse. She’s lucky. Obviously, I don’t know, maybe she wasn’t a virgin, but she shouldn’t have put herself in that position, unless they slipped her something, then that’s different.”
First of all, what the what? Did you just say the 16 year old rape victim was lucky and put herself in that situation? Wow. Obviously, this was instantly met with harsh criticism, forcing her into spin mode, where she issued an “apology” which of course means she didn’t apologize at all, saying: “What was written — what I supposedly said — is insensitive and hurtful, and I by no means would say or insinuate that she was at all to blame.” Notice the complete dickishness of this apology. What she supposedly said? Did she say it or not? This is the typical athlete “taken out of context” “I’m sorry for getting caught and not what I did” apology. It rings completely hollow. Note: Serena (read: her PR team) has since issued a second apology, this time a real one, and she also reached out to the victim and her family (a well-orchestrated, albeit completely transparent, PR move). Sorry, too little too late. As a general rule, if you have to apologize two times for the same thing, you really fucked up.
In the same interview, Serena also imparted some relationship advice. This is where the story gets good, and by good, we mean Jerry Springer good. Referring to Maria Sharapova (who’s dating Serena’s ex), Serena’s claws came out. “She begins every interview with `I’m so happy. I’m so lucky’ – it’s so boring. She’s still not going to be invited to the cool parties. And, hey, if she wants to be with the guy with a black heart, go for it.”
Meow! Bitter much? You’re the best tennis player in the world, yet you just went high school drama on another girl. And, not get invited to the cool parties? Really? You’re a Jehovah’s witness and don’t drink, we’re pretty sure the parties you’re at aren’t cool.
Sharapova, who’s a diva in her own right, did not take the comments lightly. Maria upped the bitchy high school girl fight and called out Serena for playing homewrecker. Watch it here. “If she wants to talk about something personal, maybe she should talk about her relationship and her boyfriend that was married and is getting a divorce and has kids.” We were waiting for the Wimbledon press corps to bust out the “Jerry, Jerry, Jerry!”
Oh hell no. So you’re banging your (married) tennis coach, yet find it appropriate to comment on who other people are dating? This is the height of the self-absorbed athlete that thinks they are above reproach. In response, Serena suddenly got quiet, saying that “I definitely like to keep my personal life personal.” Oh, so go ahead and shine the spotlight on other people’s personal lives (and a 16-year-old rape victim), but when the light comes back on you, suddenly it’s a private matter.
Look, if we want tips on how to rip a forehand winner, or blast a serve, we’ll go right to you. But please, know your roll. Because you’re good at tennis doesn’t make you an expert off the court, certainly not as a rape crisis counselor and definitely not a relationship expert, particularly given your recent family intervention skills (here’s hoping the US Open crowd chants “homewrecker”…we’d say Wimbledon but the Brits are too high brow for that). Perhaps they’ll chant [cue: snobbish British voice] “Dwelling Disturber.”
The problem, however, is this: we love it when athletes do this. It sells magazines and creates headlines. It makes us think: hey, they’re just like us. So the next time you’re up in the tree spying on your ex having dinner or washing her hair, relax, and take comfort that there are professional athletes doing the same thing. So, I guess we’re somewhat to blame for encouraging this behavior.
When will it stop? Never. We just pre-ordered our copy of “Slap a Ho.”
Enjoy your teabag.