The French Open has banned Serena Williams ‘Black Panther’-inspired catsuit from next year’s tournament. Check out all the fans slamming this decision right here.
Serena Williams has needlessly been banned from wearing her self-proclaimed “Wakanda-inspired catsuit” at the French Open in 2019, despite the fact that she was able to wear it last year. French Tennis Federation President Bernard Giudicelli said, “It will no longer be accepted. One must respect the game and place.” When describing the strict change in dress code, Giudicelli also added, “I think that sometimes we’ve gone too far.” Too far? Really? Serena previously talked about how the outfit was purposefully designed to help prevent blood clots, following an episode that almost proved deadly after the birth of her daughter Alexis Olympia in Sep. 2017. Is wearing an outfit designed to save her life “going too far”?
Needless to say, so many celebs and fans were pissed (and rightfully so) about this new dress code. Shonda Rhimes jumped to Serena’s defense, tweeting, “The game seems quite content to be played no matter what women wear. Perhaps this man should focus on his own fashion choices and respect the GOAT’s rights to wear whatever the hell she pleases. #getoffhercourt.” Amen! Roxane Gay echoed that sentiment, and argued that if anything the French Open should be catering to the sport of tennis’ best player and not the other way around: “What incentive would Serena Williams, GOAT, have at this point in her career to play the French Open when the tournament is being blatantly disrespectful to her?” Writer Molly Knight wrote, “Serena Williams is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to women’s tennis. She should be able to play in nothing body paint and Mickey Mouse ears if she wants.”
Others have argued that this dress code, targeted solely at Serena, is blatantly racist. “The serena williams catsuit ban is racist,” writer Molly Priddy wrote. “I’m not looking to debate this as i am tired of debating absolutes.” Check out more of the heated responses to this ban below.
For the record, Serena Williams wasn’t the first woman to wear a catsuit at a Grand Slam. Anne White did it in 1985 at the US Open. They knew this was a possibility but didn’t ban it until Serena did it for MEDICAL REASONS. pic.twitter.com/0GyDbKnhEO
— ✨Mizzlé✨ (@mizzlywizz) August 24, 2018
How many times does Serena Williams have to be disrespected? It’s in the language used to describe her or her health-designed bodysuit they just condemned. Why this arbitrary constant picking at an athlete that has given so much to the game of tennis w grace & dominance? SMH😡
— Ros Gold-Onwude (@ROSGO21) August 24, 2018
We’ll keep you posted on whether or not the French Open reverses this controversial dress code. In the meantime, check out all of Serena’s pics in our gallery above.