Ilie Nastase, a 70-year old former tennis star from Romania pondered Serena’s pregnancy with her white fiancé recently, saying, “Let’s see what colour it has. Chocolate with milk?”
It was rude but is it racist? We don’t blame Serena for being annoyed, but infuriated? Nastase is of the generation before we had snowflakes and sharia law for the USA. The guardian newspaper wrote hyperbolically that he “racially abused her unborn child” and “sparked chaos”.
Serena backs an investigation of what she called his “racist” comments.
“It disappoints me to know we live in a society where people like Ilie Nastase can make such racist comments,” Williams, 35 and , said in a statement.
“I have said it once and I’ll say it again, this world has come so far but yet we have so much further to go,” Williams added. “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.”
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) is investigating.
“I humbly thank the ITF for any consideration given to all the facts in this case. They will have my full support,” added Williams, who announced her engagement to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian in December.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion also included passages from the poem Still I Rise by American civil rights activist Maya Angelou in her statement.
“I am not afraid like 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 the air, I rise.”
Williams statement referenced the incidents in Romania where Nastase called umpire Johanna Konta and GB captain Anne Keothavong “a couple bitches”, saying Nastase had made “sexist comments against my peers”.
Nastase was expelled from the stadium on Saturday after swearing at officials and insulting the two women.
After his expulsion, Nastase wouldn’t apologize. “I don’t need this bullshit. I’m 70 years old. I don’t even get paid for being team captain. I don’t give a shit if they fine me,” he told the Daily Mirror.
Okay, is he racist and sexist or insulting, rude and descriptive? We like Serena very much but don’t really understand what’s racist about the comment.
Should the generational difference be considered?
This is Ilie:
Yesterday, Serena posted a tribute to her baby.
“My Dearest Baby, You gave 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,” Williams, 35, wrote alongside a photo of herself lounging in a swimsuit.
“But most importantly, I am so happy to share being number one in the world with you …. once again today. On @alexisohanian bday. 😉 from the world’s oldest number one to the world’s youngest number one. — Your Mommy.”