Gimelstob Sure Knows How to Impress the Ladies

Loses Spokesman Job After Trashing Kournikova

By Published on .

So it turns out referring to women's tennis players as "a bitch," "a douche" and "a sexpot" is a good way to lose a gig as a spokesman for the sport. Who knew?

That hard lesson was served up by Tennis Channel announcer and former pro Justin Gimelstob, whose misogynistic rant against Anna Kournikova and other female tennis stars on a Washington D.C. radio show last month today led the United States Tennis Association to kill a series of U.S. Open ads from Arnold Worldwide that featured him.

In a statement announcing the move yesterday, the USTA said: "Justin Gimelstob's recent comments on a Washington D.C. radio program were derogatory and demeaning to female tennis players and to women in general. ... As a result of his remarks, the USTA is discontinuing its planned use of Justin Gimelstob in the 2008 Olympus US Open Series television ad campaign. The USTA has met with Justin, who has expressed deep remorse and has issued his sincere apology. We anticipate that he will learn from this experience and that he will be able to contribute to the game of tennis in the future."

Mr. Gimelstob's comments came as he was promoting an upcoming exhibition match, sharing with that broadcast audience his opinions on the state of the women's tour.

Raising the oh-so-critical issue of fewer lesbians on the tour these days, he said: "'That's because they're all Russian chicks. And there's some other cute ones out there. There's some talent out there."

Listeners also learned that 19-year-old Czech Nicole Vaidisova is "a well-developed young lady" and that two young French players were "sexpots."

But it turns out that Ms. Kournikova -- who has been described in those terms before -- didn't interest the 31-year-old Mr. Gimelstob "because she's such a douche." Instead, "I wouldn't mind my brother, who is kind of a stud, nail her and then reap the benefits."

Mr. Gimelstob issued a contrite apology, along with a donation to the Women's Sports Foundation, which was made at the request of the Tennis Channel. (He remains on the air.)

"There is no excuse and I am extremely disappointed in myself," he said. "I take full responsibility for all the words that came out of my mouth, and, while I can't take any of them back, I hope my heartfelt remorse can begin to heal the wounds felt by many."
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