Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Wimbledon commentator accused of sexism after “creepy” comment about player’s girlfriend

castle-jennifer-bate.png

There was a lot to talk about in the second-round Wimbledon match between Roger Federer and tennis’ newest star Marcus Willis. A reformed party animal who says he would have quit professional tennis were it not for his girlfriend’s encouragement, the previously unknown Willis has captured the public’s imagination with his down-to-earth attitude and underdog backstory.

While he didn’t defeat the seven-time champion, Willis – currently 772 in the world rankings, a cool 769 places behind Federer – aced him nine times and had the crowd in the palm of his hand.

Commentator and former tennis player Andrew Castle (pictured above), however, made sure viewers didn’t fail to notice what was really important: the appearance of Willis’s girlfriend.

MW

Marcus Willis hugs girlfriend Jennifer Bate after winning his first round during Day One of Wimbledon 2016

When the camera cut to a shot of dental surgeon Jennifer Bate, broadcaster and former tennis player Castle remarked: “It’s a pity my dentist doesn’t look like that.”

While Castle’s comment wasn’t as offensive as that made by another BBC presenter during Wimbledon in 2013 (John Inverdale was forced to apologise after saying of French player Marion Bartoli: “Do you think Bartoli’s dad told her when she was little: ‘You’re never going to be a looker’?”), the remark still drew strong criticism on social media.

Some Twitter users branded Castle “creepy” and “sexist”, and asked him to “stick to the tennis”.

Castle did apologise to one Twitter user, but earlier accused another critic of being “earnest, humourless and probably no fun at all”.

Bate later messaged Castle on Twitter to say that she had not been offended by the remarks, adding that she was more insulted by the fact that she has been consistently referred to as a “dental nurse” in the press.

She recently tweeted that she was surprised to read that she was a “dental nurse” in a tabloid newspaper, given her training at GKT School of Medical Education at King’s College London, writing, “I'm Dr Jennifer Bate, who spent 5 years at GKT London, after 10 A* GCSE's & 5 A-levels”.

Images: Rex Features

Related

tennis.jpg

“We should all give ourselves a sporting chance”

aluko 3.jpg

England footballer Eniola Aluko: “Girls feel unwelcome in sport”

bodyform blood period ad.jpg

Finally, a sanitary pad advert that's not scared of actual blood

April-editorial.jpg

Three ways to fit exercise into your daily routine

iStock_000068996737_Large.jpg

It's not only golf clubs that ban you for having a vagina

iStock_000057840560_Large.jpg

A 12-year-old girl just ran a half-marathon by mistake

Nicola165_rt.jpg

Stylist meets Olympic boxing champion Nicola Adams

jami.jpg

Meet the first female double amputee hoping to run the Boston marathon

italy.jpg

Ten feel-good fitness holidays that you'll actually enjoy

Comments

More

Samantha Baines: “It’s time to leave our vaginas the hell alone”

The Call the Midwife star has her say on vaginal beauty treatments

by Kayleigh Dray
26 May 2017

Ramadan: The best places to break your fast in London

These London restaurants provide late night openings and special iftar menus

26 May 2017

10-year-old survivor’s letter to Ariana Grande is beyond beautiful

“I really hope you’re not too scared”

by Kayleigh Dray
26 May 2017

It’s official: this easy email hack is guaranteed to boost read rates

Make your emails stand out in your recipient's inbox with one simple trick

by Jasmine Andersson
26 May 2017

Fathers pay more attention to daughters than sons, new study shows

Dads are also "more emotionally engaged" with girls

by Anna Brech
26 May 2017

Men are totally devastated by this women-only Wonder Woman screening

Who knew they were such big fans of Diana Prince?

by Moya Crockett
26 May 2017

Dog breaks into studio to help reporter read the news

The internet is obsessed with this live news blooper (and for good reason)

by Kayleigh Dray
26 May 2017

“Get over yourself”: gymnast hits back at stranger who judged her arms

Alexandra Raisman responds to “rude and uncomfortable” incident

by Anna Brech
26 May 2017

Fighting for their rights: the heroic teens battling period taboos

"I wasn’t allowed to comb my hair, look in the mirror, attend school, read and write."

by Sarah Biddlecombe
25 May 2017

Twitter responds to terror threat level the only way it knows how

#BritishThreatLevels showcases the self-deprecating humour we Brits seem to love

by Amy Swales
25 May 2017