Ex driver turned commentator Marc Duez from Walloon TV station RTBF in Belgium loses his job with the broadcaster after making several of what many might describe as misogynistic comments during the Formula 1 race in Monte Carlo targetted at Serena Williams.
Tennis superstar Serena Williams was invited to the Monaco Grand Prix as Aston Martin’s guest of honour. The 23-time Grand Slam winner was even allowed to wave the chequered flag. Duez commented:
“Serena Williams will be waving something different today.” presumably in reference to what would normally be her tennis racket, but in a manner that inferred something else less savoury.
When Red Bull driver Max Verstappen then crossed the finish line first, things got even worse. The TV commentator made a snide assessment that one could clearly see that Williams was “not a cheerleader”.
A sporting great waved the chequered flag in Sunday's race 🏁
— Formula 1 (@F1) May 23, 2021
But it went further: a friend of the US-American, who was standing next to her on the balcony, Duez called “ugly” – much to the astonishment of his co-commentator Gaëtan Vigneron.
For this reason, according to “Het Laatste Nieuws”, his broadcaster RTBF has launched an internal investigation and suspended the commentator. Duez himself has since apologised.
“I want to apologise to the people who might be affected by my statements. I didn’t want to shock anyone,” he told Walloon media. However, this does not change his suspension for the time being.
Duez was once a racing driver himself. In the 1990s, he won the 24-hour race on the Nürburgring four times. The 64-year-old also made a name for himself as a rally driver.