Former pro Doug Adler was describing the aggressive tactics used by Williams during her Australian Open match against Stefanie Voegele when he made the remarks.
The 59-year-old was forced to apologise for the controversial comments after a backlash on social media.
He insisted he was illustrating the seven-time Gram Slam champion’s tactics and “simply and inadvertently chose the wrong word to describe her play”.
Doug Adler described Venus Williams as a "gorilla" during the ESPN broadcast
You see Venus move in and put the gorilla effect on
During the ESPN broadcast, Mr Alder said: "She [Voegele] misses a first serve and Venus is all over her.
"You see Venus move in and put the gorilla effect on. Charging."
Although he claims to have used the word “guerrilla”, Mr Alder’s comments caused an uproar on social media with viewers demanding he got the boot.
One tweet read: “ESPN commentator Doug Adler should be fired NOW for comparing Venus Williams to a gorilla. Period.”
Another wrote: “@ESPN needs to sack Doug Adler. Cannot be making comments like that about one of the greatest athletes in this day and age.”
Doug Adler needs to apologize to Venus and fired from @ESPN. Under no circumstances do you make an analogy of a gorilla to a woman of color
— Shanna ������ (@PinaCocoblog) January 18, 2017
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— Ramesh (@Rameshsoba) January 19, 2017
After the foray, ESPN announced it had decided to drop Mr Alder from the network’s coverage of the Melbourne tournament.
In a statement, a spokesperson said: “During an Australian Open stream on ESPN3, Doug Adler should have been more careful in his word selection.
"He apologised and we have removed him from his remaining assignments."
The comments were made during Venus Williams' second-round Australian Open match
Not everyone agrees his remarks were made out of racism and some feel he was merely showing his admiration for Williams' aggressive style of play in putting pressure on her opponents second serve.
One person tweeted: “It was a very poor choice of words, but I don't believe the commentator was being racist towards Venus Williams”.
A second read: “Nothing wrong there. It's not racist. So can't i say he/she charged like a bull etc?”
A report on the ESPN website said: “Because the words gorilla and guerrilla are pronounced similarly, it’s impossible to say for certain which word Adler spoke.”