Expect the Unexpected

The 2017 Australian open is currently in action.

Venus Williams, professional American tennis player, made the headlines for more than just her excellent athletic ability. Williams continues to impress her fans and ATP with her performance in the tournament. Williams victoriously defeated Duan Ying-Ying during her 15th round finishing with a solid 6-1, 6-0.

Just before Williams’ victory, she had a very controversial comment made towards her style of play by Doug Adler, ESPN commentator. Adler stated that Williams’ style had demonstrated the “guerrilla effect”. What Adler was intending was that Williams had demonstrated having an aggressive style. It was misinterpreted that Williams resembled playing like an actual “gorilla”.

Shortly after Williams had a press conference talking to the public about her recent performance and the interesting comments made. Instead of getting offended and responding to Adler with hatred she turned the situation around and made it into an uplifting one.

“It’s been a wonderful wonderful career for me, full of positives. That’s what I focus on.I mean, what else can I do? It’s a beautiful life. That’s how I feel about every single thing. It’s just that simple honestly,” Williams explains.

It has also been documented that Williams’ fans were more than likely more concerned for her being insulted that she was herself. It was found that there were very offending fans on Twitter trying to gain attention, in hopes of getting Adler fired. Adler publicly apologized for the miscommunication and for any difficulties that it may have caused. He also admitted to the poor choice of world selection. According to the Chicago Tribune, Adler was removed from his remaining assignments and ESPN did pull him from the ESPN broadcasts.

One of the most important concerns that anyone in the public relations, communication, marketing, and even human resources field should consider is their choice of word selection. Thankfully, Venus Williams, athlete of integrity, held her head and stayed on the high road. She didn’t let any controversial side conversations or drama bother her. However, just because one person didn’t mind as much about the problem does not mean another person will not. Venus Williams rose about this experience and continued to be the woman of integrity that she is. She continues to head into the 16th round and prepare to dominate.

From a public relations perspective, we all need to learn how to be care with what might even be one of the simplest tasks. One negative word could potentially poison everything and everyone as a whole.



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