I would never imply that a truth should not be told only for the sole purpose of not offending someone IF that truth has a purpose OTHER THAN belittling or annoying someone. If McEnroe was asked if he could give any productive advice to Williams, or any other player, and he said the he noticed that he/she’s backhand, or whatever, was weak and proceeded to give his advice on how to improve that weakness, I would applaud him. If he compared two players of somewhat equal standing and he did so politely and professionally, pointing out the weaknesses and strengths of both, great. His statement was not professional, truthful, or necessary.
He has always been a churlish bully with the maturity of a four-year-old and, no doubt, Williams expected nothing better from him. I don’t worry about her feelings in the least. She can handle it. I worry about how negative comments like that affect young girls and women who are trying to discover their calling or struggling to excel in any field. It is disheartening to hear someone of McEnroe’s stature speak disrespectfully about a woman who has accomplished so much in her field. We should be encouraging one another and applauding each other’s accomplishments.