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ESPN in race row after commentator compares Venus Williams to a GORILLA at Australian Open

Mirror logo Mirror 19-01-2017 Neil McLeman

Venus Williams © Julian Finney/Getty Images Venus Williams

ESPN has been caught in a race row after a commentator compared Venus Williams to a gorilla.

Doug Adler sparked a furious backlash on social media with his comments during the second round of the Australian Open.

Former pro Adler made the controversial comparison as five-time Wimbledon champion beat Stefanie Voegele in the second round.

Narrating the action, he said: "She misses a first serve and Venus is all over her. You will see Venus move in and puts the gorilla effect on. Charging".

Furious Twitter users immediately called for Adler's dismissal.

Other users, however, claimed the commentator had been misquoted and had in fact meant “guerrilla”.

In 2014 the president the Russian Tennis Federation Shamil Tarpishchev referred to Serena and Venus Williams as the "Williams brothers" on Russian state television and was fined US$25,000.

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