“My life has been turned upside down, I can’t get work. I meet people who don’t know me and the first thing that comes to their mind is ‘There’s the racist.’”
-- Doug Adler.
Former tennis commentator Doug Adler joined Outkick the Coverage Thursday to talk about his ongoing legal battle with his former employer after he was fired for comments he made on air during the 2017 Australian Open in a match featuring Venus Williams.
While analyzing a point that had just occurred, Adler analogized Williams' style of play of unexpectedly charging the net to ‘Guerrilla Warfare’, a military strategy made popular in the 19th century that presents a wide array of hit-and-run tactics to achieve victory.
Minutes later the clip was already being spread on Twitter with users shouting racial connotations from Adler’s analysis, mistakenly believing Adler was comparing Venus Williams, an African American player, to a gorilla the animal.
As the clip became to go viral, Adler alleged that his former employer initially stood behind the commentator, promising that if he publicly apologized they would defend his name, but days later they would fire him amidst public pressure.
Adler says he has only worked once in two years since being fired and says his name has been dragged through the mud as people unfamiliar with the specific details of the incident still brand him as a racist thinking that he compared an African-American player to a gorilla, even though usage of the term ‘guerrilla warfare’ is a known tennis adage around the sport.
A memorable 1995 Nike ad campaign featuring Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras ripping tennis shots in the streets of San Francisco was even titled 'guerrilla tennis.'
Adler says he had a heart attack last year and nearly died from the stress the mental anguish of the fallout has caused him, knowing his announcing career is irreparably damaged and potentially finished altogether.
Adler is now suing his former employer for wrongful termination in a case that is set to begin in the middle of October.
Listen to the full interview with Clay Travis below.