From: Fox, Ashley
To: Gonzalez, John; Fitzpatrick, Frank
Re: Mon dieu

Venus Williams made quite the splash in her French Open debut on Sunday. She wore a black lace dress with skin-tone short shorts that gave the "illusion" - her word, not mine - that she wasn't wearing underwear. There's an Associated Press photo of her from behind where her dress has flopped up and seemingly exposed her bare butt. Google it real quick. You'll see. It's incredibly suggestive.

What do you think of her outfit and the statement she's making?

From: Gonzalez, John
To: Fox, Ashley; Fitzpatrick, Frank
Re: Mon dieu

I don't want to Google it, Ashley. I've spent the last 24 hours trying to avoid stumbling upon the pictures. That hasn't worked out so well. This morning I visited a favorite website and the photos were prominently displayed.

What do I think of the pictures? I think it's going to take a long time to forget them. Does our health insurance plan cover therapy sessions?

From: Fitzpatrick, Frank
To: Fox, Ashley; Gonzalez, John
Re: Mon dieu

My wife won't let me Google it. And besides, I haven't looked at a suggestive tennis photo since Anna Kournikova retired.

From: Fox, Ashley
To: Gonzalez, John; Fitzpatrick, Frank
Re: Mon dieu

I'm no prude and my tolerance for inappropriate behavior out of star athletes is pretty high (in part because my expectations are so low), but I'm really bothered by what Venus has done.

It sends a horrible message to little girls - that you have value because you're naked, instead of because you excel at something. I understand there's crossover, especially with female athletes, between just being an athlete and being a sex symbol. But to try to look like you're not wearing underwear while your practicing your craft is just ludicrous to me.

From: Gonzalez, John
To: Fox, Ashley; Fitzpatrick, Frank
Re: Mon dieu

Ashley raises an interesting question. What kind of message is Venus trying to send? Remember when Andre Agassi used to do the whole "image is everything" campaign and he'd take all sorts of heat for some of the stuff he'd wear or say? There really wasn't a point to any of that beyond self-promotion. Maybe that's all Venus is trying to accomplish here.

From: Fox, Ashley
To: Gonzalez, John; Fitzpatrick, Frank
Re: Mon dieu

I get self-promotion. I even get shameless self-promotion. But she crossed the line. If she wants to look naked, pose in Playboy. I wouldn't like that either, but at least I wouldn't have to look at it when I turned my TV on expecting to see tennis.

From: Fitzpatrick, Frank
To: Fox, Ashley; Gonzalez, John
Re: Mon dieu

She's simply a wannabe fashion maven with very bad taste in fashion.

From: Gonzalez, John
To: Fox, Ashley; Fitzpatrick, Frank
Re: Mon dieu

Anyone else find it ironic that sportswriters all over the world are criticizing her choice in clothing? We're not exactly the best-dressed bunch. It would be like Tiger Woods telling Jesse James to respect his wife.

From: Fox, Ashley
To: Gonzalez, John; Fitzpatrick, Frank
Re: Mon dieu

Speak for yourself. What are you wearing today? Let me guess. Navy zip-up hoodie and jeans?

From: Fitzpatrick, Frank
To: Fox, Ashley; Gonzalez, John
Re: Mon dieu

Thanks for asking. I'm in my typical Monday getup: cassock and surplice.

From: Gonzalez, John
To: Fox, Ashley; Fitzpatrick, Frank
Re: Mon dieu

Right now I'm only wearing my boxers. I like to be comfortable when I write. (You asked.)

From: Fox, Ashley
To: Gonzalez, John; Fitzpatrick, Frank
Re: Mon dieu

Another mental image I really don't need.