Serena Williams has responded to Romanian tennis legend Ilie Nastase after he allegedly made a racist comment about her unborn baby.
The International Tennis Federation launched an investigation into Nastase’s behavior. He was allegedly quoted as saying, “Let’s see what color it has. Chocolate with milk?”
He was also suspended after asking British tennis player Anne Keothavong for her hotel room number during a pre-match dinner. He also suffered a meltdown during a Fed Cup match and shouted profanities at the chair umpire and at British player Johanna Konta.
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“The ITF does not tolerate discriminatory and offensive language and behavior of any kind,” the ITF said in a statement. “We are aware of alleged comments made by Romanian Captain Ilie Nastase and have begun an immediate investigation so that we have the full facts of the situation before taking further and appropriate action.”
Last week, Williams announced that she was pregnant and expecting a baby in the fall. She is engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.
A post shared by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) on
“It disappoints me to know 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’ll say it again, this world has come so far but yet 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 the facts in this case. They will have my full support.