In response to the numerous complaints from spectators and even the head of Wimbledon, Ian Ritchie, the BBC has launched a product that allows people to fade out the sound of the players grunting on court.
The product is called Wimbledon NetMix and has been made available on the BBC Radioplayer over the internet. The new product has a sliding scale which users can use to alter the contrast between the commentators and the sounds coming from the court and is free to download.
As a North American sports fan, you have to understand that personally, I find this ridiculous. Perhaps I’m not polished or distinguished enough to frown upon the annoying grunts of highly trained athletes who are fighting for hours on end on a grass surface to win one of the most coveted crowns in their sport.
Seriously, the whole thing is absolutely ridiculous to me.
Tennis balls are flying at upwards of 100 km/hr at these players who are at full sprint, using all of their might and athletic ability to make pin point returns and spectators are annoyed that they have the audacity to grunt? As a North American sports fan, it is unimaginable to consider spectators or other opponents complaining that Ray Lewis is screaming too much on the football field or that LeBron James is too loud on the basketball court…Even if it is just choking sounds.
It’s sport people.
Quite frankly, I love the sounds of the grunting and shrills, particularly from the hottie female competitors at Wimbledon. Matter of fact, I find it sexy. I guess that makes me low class. I make no apologies for turning up the volume on the TV when Sharapova is serving, nor do I apologize for recording the match and re-watching it in the late night with the lights off and candles and incense burning in the background.
I tend to think that the vast majority of the people, particularly the men, who complain about the grunting from the female Wimbledon competitors, are the same gentlemen that frown or are turned off when a woman groans too loud during sex. It’s probably the same guys that refuse to get naked and would rather just engage in sexual activity through the hole in the fronts of their cotton pyjamas.
There’s actually many ways to improve tennis at Wimbledon, but to me, silencing grunting and player emotion isn’t one of them.
Am I out of bounds? What’s your take? To grunt or not to grunt, that is the question.