‘I Am Definitely Offended’ – Serena Williams’ Sister Venus Williams Once Felt Humiliated by a ‘Bad Joke’ From ‘Big Fella’ Shaquille O’Neal

Published 08/27/2022, 8:42 AM EDT

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American tennis star Venus Williams is one of the most accomplished tennis players from the US. Over the years, the 42-year-old has earned great respect for her dedication and accomplishments. The legendary tennis player was out of action for a long time. Earlier this year she returned to action with doubles participation in the Wimbledon Championships.

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While Venus usually is a fun-loving person, an incident that later turned out to be a joke seriously offended the tennis star. Here’s what happened.

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The Shaquille O’Neal controversy with Venus Williams

Former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal once made a claim involving Venus Williams in his interaction at the Los Angeles radio station. O’Neal had claimed he had a physical relationship with Williams. Later, he turned it down as a joke. However, it did not go well with the tennis star, who came up with a strongly worded response.

“I categorically and unequivocally deny that I have ever had a se*ual relationship with Shaquille O’Neal. I don’t even know him. I’ve only met Shaquille once a few years ago, when attending an L.A. Lakers game.”

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“If Shaquille made the statement as a joke, it was in very bad taste, and I am definitely offended. I think that he should use better judgment in the future, particularly where one’s reputation is concerned,” Venus said.

‘Wouldn’t That Be Great?’ – Venus Williams to Potentially Team Up With Her Sister Serena Williams to Play Doubles at the US Open

O’Neal later came up with an apology.

“Those who know me know I’m a comedian. The guys who were with me in the studio knew that I was laughing, but I guess they didn’t take it as a joke, and I apologize,” he said.

US Open had a perfect locker room surprise for the Williams sisters

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While Serena Williams has announced her retirement plans, elder sister Venus is yet to do so. However, many believe it could be the last US Open for both the sisters. Both Serena and Venus have numerous memories of Flushing Meadows.

To pay their tribute to the legendary sister duo, the US Open organizers planned a perfect surprise for them. They decorated their locker room with pictures describing the tennis journey of the Williams sisters. They also had beautiful presents for both the sisters and the 4-year-old daughter of Serena Williams.

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Watch this story: Billie Jean King sends a heartfelt message to Serena after the retirement announcement

Venus is all set to start her US Open campaign on Tuesday.

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Written by:

Gaurav Verma

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Gaurav Verma is a Tennis Author at EssentiallySports. He has post graduate diploma in management from IILM Graduate School of Management and a BBA degree from Bangalore University. He has 1-year of experience in the banking sector.
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Edited by:

Rohini Kottu

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