Tennis legend John McEnroe says Trump offered him $1M to play Serena Williams


It was one of the seminal moments in sports history.

The year was 1973, when an aging former champion, 55-year old Bobby Riggs, took on 29-year old Billie Jean King in “The Battle of the Sexes.”

King dominated Riggs in straight sets and the women’s movement scored a major victory.

It turns out that if President Donald Trump had his way, we may have had a modern-day “Battle of the Sexes: Part 2.”

Tennis legend John McEnroe recently revealed that before Trump became president, he offered the seven-time Grand Slam champion $1 million to face either Serena or Venus Williams.

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“It was after Serena and Venus had started talking about they could beat a lot of guys,” McEnroe told talk show host Graham Bensinger on Wednesday. “So, over time, somehow, I guess because I’m a commentator — I’m not exactly sure why I’m the fall guy for this. … I think Serena and Venus are great, but you’re not gonna sit there and hear me say I can’t, you know, beat them.”

McEnroe, of course, made headlines last summer when he said during an interview on NPR that if Serena Williams played on the men’s circuit, “she’d be like 700 in the world.”

“On a given day, Serena could beat some players. I believe because she’s so incredibly strong mentally that she could overcome some situations,” McEnroe said, according to USA Today. “But if she had to just play the circuit — the men’s circuit — that would be an entirely different story.”

Williams herself, unsurprisingly, had a response ready.

Many consider Williams to be the greatest woman’s player of all time, but she is 36 years old and just had her first child.

Should McEnroe have taken Trump up on his offer?

Still, McEnroe’s kids seem to think she would have a pretty good chance of beating their dad.

“Over the course of time, literally my kids, my daughters will say: ‘Dad I don’t know if you can beat Serena,'” McEnroe said Wednesday. “I’m like, ‘God I can’t even get my kids on my side.'”

The 2017 movie “When Billie Beat Bobby” pulled in more than $17 million.

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We can only wonder how “Serena Takes on Johnny” would do.

Mr. President, any thoughts?

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Mike is an 11-time Michigan Emmy Award winner who has spent nearly 30 years working in sports media.
Mike has spent nearly 30 years in all aspects of sports media, including on-air, 10 at ESPN and another 10 at Fox Sports Detroit. He now works as a TV agent, and lives with his family in West Bloomfield, MI.
Sudbury, Massachusetts
11-time Michigan Emmy winner
Emerson College
Books Written
The Longest Year: One Family's Journey Of Life, Death, And Love/If These Walls Could Talk: Detroit Tigers/If These Walls Could Talk: Detroit Lions
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