The 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams says Ilie Nastase’s remarks about her unborn child are “racist” and has given her full backing to an ITF investigation into his comments.
Romanian Nastase, an ex world no. 1, commented on whether Serena Williams’ unborn child would be “chocolate with milk?”
Williams said: “It disappoints me to know we live in a society where people like Ilie Nastase can make such racist comments”. Williams, aged 35, is expecting her due to her first child in Autumn.
“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. 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 ITF (International Tennis Federation) has started an inquiry into the remarks made by Nastase, aged 70, Romania’s Federations Cup captain, which he made at a media conference prior to their match, with Great Britain, in Constanta.
Williams fully backs the inquiry: “I humbly thank the ITF for any consideration given to all the facts in this case. They will have my full support.”
Serena Williams then quoted the poem ‘Still I Rise’ by civil rights activist Maya Angelou: “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.”