Serena Williams is firing back after tennis legend Ilie Nastase made horrible racist comments about her unborn baby at a tennis match. In a new Instagram message, Serena wrote how disappointed she is by Ilie’s words and vowed to continue to ‘stand up for what’s right.’
Serena Williams’ powerful message comes just days after 70-year-old former Romanian tennis pro Ilie Nastase, whose nickname is ironically “Nasty,” made disgusting remarks about Serena’s unborn baby at a news conference on April 21. “Let’s see what color it has. Chocolate with milk?” Ilie said about Serena’s child, according to The Guardian.
“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,” Serena, 35, wrote in a April 24 Instagram message. “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.”
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Ilie has spoken out amidst the backlash and shockingly doesn’t believe his remarks about Serena were racist at all. “I want to know what word I used is racist?” he told The Associated Press on April 24.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion, who announced she was expecting her first child with fiance, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, 34, on April 19, also posted her message one day after the International Tennis Federation issued a provisional suspension of Ilie. The ITF had previously announced it was investigating Ilie for his “serious misconduct” during the Fed Cup match on April 22, as well as for his “previous comments.” ITF President David Haggerty called Ilie’s actions “unacceptable.”
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