ESPN axes commentator for 'gorilla effect' remark about Venus

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Broadcasters must always be careful with their words, a lesson Doug Adler learned as he was removed from ESPN's Australian Open coverage.

Adler made a controversial comment while calling Venus Williams' win over Stefanie Voegele in the second round of the Australian Open on Wednesday.

"[Voegele] misses a first serve and Venus is all over her," Adler said. "You see Venus move in and put the gorilla effect on. Charging."

Adler issued a statement Thursday, saying was referring to "guerrilla" and not "gorilla" tactics.

He said he "simply and inadvertently chose the wrong word to describe her play".

It did not matter to ESPN, which responded to public outcry by pulling Adler from its coverage.

"During an Australian Open stream on ESPN3, Doug Adler should have been more careful in his word selection," an ESPN statement said. "He apologised and we have removed him from his remaining assignments."