Mother to be Serena Williams has publicly decried Ilie Nastase for his comments about her unborn baby and the British women’s tennis team.
The Romanian and former world number one drew criticism from all corners of the tennis world last week with controversial comments he made towards Williams on Friday and the British women’s team on Saturday.
Ilie was overheard saying “Let’s see what colour it has. Chocolate with milk?” when discussing the American’s pregnancy.
“Nasty” nasty has been publicly condemned by many in the tennis world, with the likes of former American star James Blake and Andy Murray’s mother Judy being highly critical of the 70-year-old via their Twitter pages.
Now, Serena has added herself to a litany of critics after rebutting via an Instagram post and telling the IFA that they have her full support during the investigation.
“It disappoints me to know we live in a society which 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 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.
“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.”
Williams’s post, which features a quote from famous American activist and writer Maya Angelou, will be seen as a stand of defiance against racism and sexism in sport.
The Romanian, however, has shown no contrition for the incident and has been reported in the Romanian press as saying: “No, I did not try (to contact them). Well, what do I do with them? One (Keothavong) is pregnant with her second child and the other (Konta) is busy. I have nothing to do with them.”
He later added: “I don’t regret it and they can send me to prison if they want – I don’t care. I don’t need this b*******. I’m 70 years old. I don’t even get paid for being team captain. I don’t give a s*** if they fine me or don’t let me sit in the captain’s chair.”
Nastase is currently suspended whilst his comments are investigated by the IFA.