The 700

SellwynThumbby Selwyn Duke6/13/17
John McEnroe is Right: Serena Williams Couldn’t Beat Eggs on Men’s Tour  •  It’s a sad time when simple truths cause serious trouble. But that time is now, and a good example is how former number-one tennis player John McEnroe is being excoriated for stating that Serena Williams, widely regarded as history’s best women’s player, would be “like number 700 in the world” on the men’s tour. The story is also further proof of how the media are infested with arrogant, ignorant fake-news fetishists.

I do place a premium on honesty, however, and thus should confess my title’s inaccuracy. McEnroe is wrong.

I don’t think Williams would crack the top 1000 men.

By the way, unlike the two-brain-cell media wonders bloviating about things they know nothing about, I’m not just a journalist: I once was a tennis professional who played the satellite circuit (tantamount to baseball’s minor leagues) and competed against world-ranked players — this included being a sparring partner for a highly ranked woman.

Williams tweeted to McEnroe to “please keep me out of your statements….” But she should have sent the message to NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro, who broached the matter — posing what could win the Stupid Question of the Month Award — while interviewing McEnroe about his new book. Here was the exchange:

Garcia-Navarro: …Let’s talk about Serena Williams. You say she is the best female player in the world in the book.

McEnroe: Best female player ever — no question.

Garcia-Navarro: Some wouldn’t qualify it, some would say she’s the best player in the world. Why qualify it? [Uh, maybe because the women and men don’t compete together and that there’s a reason for this? Just a thought]

…McEnroe: Well because if she was in, if she played the men’s circuit she’d be like 700 in the world.

For not lying while answering a dumb question, McEnroe’s reward was to be labeled guilty of “sexism” and misogyny. Question: Is it sexism to say the top female track stars couldn’t beat the best 15-year-old boys?

Because the mile record for 15-year-old lads is in fact better than the women’s world record. My, those darn misogynistic stopwatches.

For the record, Williams has essentially acknowledged the reality here. As NY’s Daily News reported Thursday, in 2013 “Williams said she considered men’s tennis and women’s tennis to be two different sports. ‘If I were to play Andy Murray, I would lose 6-0, 6-0 in five to six minutes, maybe 10 minutes,’ she said. …I only want to play girls because I don’t want to be embarrassed.”

For the record, while the 1973 “Battle of the Sexes” match in which Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs was thrown in McEnroe’s face, Riggs was a 55-year-old “jerk who dyes his hair, waddles like a duck and has trouble seeing,” as King put it at the time. King was 29 and the world’s number-two female player — and Riggs had beaten the number-one woman player, Margaret Court, earlier in the year, 6-1, 6-2.

For the record, Williams also tweeted, “I’ve never played anyone ranked ‘there’ [700] nor do I have time.” This may be true if she means a player exactly 700. But who do you think the women practice against? Highly ranked junior boys, male college players and male teaching pros — and they lose to the good ones.

I ought to know. I never lost a set to the woman, who’d been ranked 20 in the world, I sparred with (and I never had any kind of men’s world ranking).

Yet the media wouldn’t know any of this, partially because they couldn’t care less. It’s comical: In McEnroe they have a tennis legend. Yet instead of trying to learn while interviewing him — and informing their audience — they busy themselves attempting to extract an apology. I would ask them: I know you’re professional agitators, but for how many years did you play the tennis circuit? Is it at all possible McEnroe knows something you don’t?

This reflects a wider issue, though: It’s the exact same contempt for truth that brought us the CNN (Counterfeit News Network) scandal and reflects the sick, twisted world view informing that entity. The truth is considered out of bounds if it contradicts the leftist agenda, and those uttering it must be brought to heel.

Speaking of which, McEnroe did finally capitulate, not apologizing but saying he “regrets” his comments (between the lines: “because they elicited bad press”). And this is how fake-news fetishists guarantee fake answers.

By the by, on Tuesday’s “CBS This Morning,” McEnroe responded to some members of the ignorati with one of my ideas. Said he, “Why don’t you combine [the tours]…. I’m sure the men would be all for this: The men and women play together. And then we don’t have to guess.” The answer?

Because that would reveal an inconvenient truth and, again, the truth is not the media’s business.

In the final analysis, McEnroe served an ace, the media couldn’t touch it, but they’re also the linesmen and just called it out.  You see, they cannot be serious — but they sure know how to cheat.

Selwyn Duke (@SelwynDuke) is a traditionalist media personality whose work has been published widely online and in print, appearing at outlets such as The Hill, Observer, The American Conservative, WorldNetDaily and American Thinker. Contact Selwyn Duke or log on to • (893 views)

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5 Responses to The 700

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    A funny postscript to this bit of leftist insanity in an ocean of leftist insanity is that Serena Williams’ response was for McEnroe to leave her be and let her have her privacy while she is taking time off to have a baby. (Aka, “I’m a victim.”) But it was the nitwit “journalist,” Garcia-Navarro, who completely instituted the controversy.

    Or are we supposed to just nod our heads when people speak rubbish? More and more, that is what is expected of us. And those who have reflexively defended Trump no matter what are quite used to doing so. This disease infects all areas of life these days.

    McEnroe has since kinda-sorta apologized. He’s got a book to sell, after all. I would have thought this controversy was publicity that he couldn’t have bought.

  2. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:


    Both you and McEnroe ought to be ashamed of yourselves, commenting on a subject you actually know something about. Tsk, tsk.

    In today’s world, that is a no-no. In fact, it is provocative. Don’t you understand too many (most?) “journalists”, like the left in general, have no facts to back up what they say. Their motto is, “Don’t confuse me with the facts, I know what I think!”

  3. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    There are certainly a couple ways to look at this incident. Some I’ve already talked about elsewhere when this subject came up:

    1) The journalist is ignorant (the profession as a whole is the equivalent of taking “study hall” in high school instead of a real subject) and has no idea that men are better than women as a whole. (The power of propaganda, I guess. It’s conceivable this journalist was taught that the only reason that there are separate men’s sports is because of sexism.)

    2) The journalist reflexively said the politically correct thing because there is no price for doing so and potentially a big price for not doing so. We’re long past the point where simply uttering the absurd is noticeable as long as it is the “correct” absurdity.

    3) And now I’ll enter my real reason. It is in direct conflict with Dennis Prager’s idea that we are in a civil war. (Jonah Goldberg finds such language too strong. He prefers “culture war.”) Both are blind men inside the beltway. The reality is that this incident is evidence that the war is long over and we have now entered the “re-education camp” phase.

    Few people are honest in regards to why they like Trump. On some level it’s just an R vs. D thing. But on another level (the one that I think pertains), people recognize that they have lost a very important war. All that’s left now are a few table scraps. Trump tweets mean things to journalists and we all say “Hurrah! We have a pit bull in the White House.” But Big Government isn’t getting any smaller. The indoctrination centers (schools, entertainment industry, mainstream media) remain intact. There is no reasonable chance that a contrary ethic to Progressive socialism can gain strength or relevance in the face of the new status quo.

    That we more likely have a mad dog in the house, not a pit bull, does not matter. For a sizable number of people, Trump is our Moe. He’s a finger-poke in the eye. He’ll not change things (although having allowed others to pick the Supreme Court nominee, Gorsuch, and Trump going along with it, could pay dividends down the road). The Three Stoogies, quite like The Marx Brothers, were a fly in the ointment, often to great comic effect. But at the end of every show, the ointment was still there, even stronger for having repelled the flies.

    When we adopted Trump as our conservative/social leader, we went the Moe route. We may not want to admit it to ourselves, but Trump’s elevation to the presidency is an implicit indication that we no longer take our own agenda seriously. We don’t expect it to get enacted (or we would have at least tried with Ted Cruz), so we are free to go with a “counter-puncher.” Better to at least go out in a blaze of glory. And if you can’t have glory, the blaze will do.

    John McEnroe had a small re-education camp episode with that reporter. He’ll not soon make the same mistake again. Oh, it’s easy and pleasing to imagine legions of men (or women) rising up and giving stern argument against this nonsense, imagining that maybe McEnroe will finally be the catalyst for such a thing. But almost always the catalyst doesn’t happen. The un-PC messiah never comes. They always apologize. They are re-educated.

    We see now that any kind of counter-culture insurgency will never happen in meaningful numbers. This is why we put so much stock in a leftist, such as Camille Paglia, when he or she gives some criticism to her own side. It’s just so rare to get it (especially from our own supposed allies in the GOP), we’re astonished when it happens at all. And that she is free to give it, and that it doesn’t really matter, is another sign that we are a one-culture nation if not yet a one-party one. She is arguing a small point within the congealed Left, not refuting it.

    Most of the refutation of the Left is now window dressing. There is no conservative movement the way there is a Progressive one. Our side sells books. Their side changes minds and prepares the next generations to think just as they do. A few conservatives (Limbaugh, for example) make a lot of money at it. But none of them have propelled a movement.

    No prominent conservative today is meaningfully pushing back against the Left. That’s not to say that some state and local elected officials haven’t had some success. But that success is merely a holding action. And although a holding action is all well and good — and certainly better than nothing — they can’t build a dam big enough that will withstand the torrent that is coming and that is already established.

    This is not a civil war. The war (cultural or otherwise) has already been lost. Those on the right have already adopted most of the Left’s tenets. Look at the debate over “health care reform.” Although a few (such as Rand Paul) are tackling this issue at the core (free markets vs. socialism), the rest of them are simply into fashioning the details of how Big Government will take on and perform yet another function for us all.

    Yes, this tennis incident is absurd in the extreme. But that something so outrageous happened, and that it will likely function as yet another brick in the Re-education Camp wall, shows you which way the wind is blowing. And although McEnroe has not (that I know of) officially apologized, he did so ceremonially when he caved by saying that he ranked Serena Williams #5 all-time among men and women. Well, what happened to that #700, John?

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