Ilie Nastase’s racial slur against Serena William’s unborn child, speculating “Let’s see what color it has. Chocolate with milk?” has not gone unnoticed by the tennis star.
Serena Williams has branded Nastase a ‘racist’ and a ‘sexist’ due to this comment and his treatment of other female tennis players. Last weekend at the Fed Cup he also reduced top seven tennis player, Johanna Konta to tears by calling her a ‘f****** bitch’, and creeped on Anne Keothavong by asking for her hotel room number
Serena Williams released the following statement on her Instagram yesterday:
“It disappoints me to know that we live in a society where people like Ilie Nastase can make such racist comments towards myself and unborn child, and sexist comments against my peers.
I have said it once and I will say it again, this world has come so far but yet we have so much further to go. Yes, we have broken down so many barriers- however there are a plethora more to go. This or anything else will not stop me from pouring love, light and positivity into everything that I do. I will continue to take a lead and stand up for what’s right.
I am not afraid, unlike you. You see, I am no coward. “Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? You may shoot me with your words…you may try to kill me with your hatefulness, but still like air, I rise.
I humbly thank the ITF for any consideration given to all my facts in this case. They will have my full support.”
Williams takes the higher ground by quoting Maya Angelou’s ‘Still I Rise’ and confronts the ugly racism that society still suffers from.
Williams also posted a heart-warming caption for an Instagram photo with her bump, saying that her baby has, “given me the strength I didn’t know I had. You taught me the true meaning of serenity and peace. I can’t wait to meet you. I can’t wait for you to join the players box next year. But most importantly, I am so happy to share being number one in the world with you….”
Nastase, nicknamed ‘Mr Nasty’, has refused to apologise for his behaviour and has even launched into an angry tirade against the Press Association tennis correspondent Eleanor Crooks calling her ‘stupid’ for reporting his comments.
Nastase stubbornly defends his offensive remarks, unfazed by the consequences, he says:
“I don’t regret it and they can send me to prison if they want – I don’t care. I was just trying to promote the interest of my girl. The English player just stormed off without even asking permission to leave the court and I admit that’s when I called her a bitch. She kept trying to keep the crowd quiet – but it’s not an opera, it’s a game. I don’t need this bullsh*t. I’m 70 years old. I don’t even get paid for being team captain. I don’t give a sh*t if they fine me or don’t let me sit in the captain’s chair.”
The ITF (International Tennis Federation) has given Ilie Nastase a provisional suspension stating that “Nastase may not participate in the Fed Cup in any capacity with immediate effect and shall be denied access to, and accreditation for, any ITF event.”