On Tuesday night, tennis legend John McEnroe sat down with Stephen Colbert and addressed the controversial remarks he made during an interview with NPR on Sunday.
In that interview, he called Serena Williams “the greatest female tennis player in the world,” but when asked why he said “female,” he responded by saying “if she played the men’s circuit she’d be like 700 in the world.”
Colbert brought up that quote during their sit-down, which caused some in the audience to boo McEnroe.
“It didn’t go big with my daughters either, okay?” he reacted to the booing audience members.
“You cannot be serious,” Colbert told him.
McEnroe then invoked the classic TV show The Honeymooners and used the famous quote, “Me and my big mouth!”
While he didn’t apologize, he clarified his remarks and made the analogy that women basketball players aren’t compared with Michael Jordan.
“People always ask me, ‘Can you beat Serena Williams?'” McEnroe added. “My girls don’t think I can beat her now. I thought I can beat her. She’s pregnant so maybe I should play her now.”
He concluded that he “wishes her the absolute best” and that she’s “the best thing that’s happened to American tennis in the last 10-15 years,” which had the audience cheering.
Watch the clip above, via CBS.
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