Professional women’s tennis champion Serena Williams (pictured) amazed the world last week when she made headlines after announcing via Snapchat that she was 20 weeks pregnant.
Williams and many of her biggest fans were filled with delight after learning that the world-class athlete would finally be giving birth to her first child in the near future.
However, a Romanian tennis league captain and former player named Ilie Nastase attempted to steal all the baby joy by publicly making an unnecessary and racially inflammatory comment about Williams’ unborn baby, which his fathered by Alexis Ohanian, a tech entrepreneur and executive of German and Armenian descent.
Nastase’s reckless words about the child Williams is carrying were posted online by the disgraced tennis guru. “Let’s see what color it has. Chocolate with milk?” he was quoted as saying.
However, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) wasted no time in addressing Nastase’s lapse in judgement. The ITF has started an investigation of this incident, as well as other instances of questionable behavior by the tennis captain, which date back a long time.
The ITF released a statement, which elaborated its recourse in the process toward disciplinary action. The organization’s statement partially reads as follows:
“The ITF does not tolerate discriminatory and offensive language and behavior of any kind. We are aware of alleged comments made by Romanian Captain Ilie Nastase and have begun an immediate investigation so that we have the full facts of the situation before taking further and appropriate action.” (via Sports Illustrated Magazine)
Williams later took to Instagram where she expressed her displeasure with Nastase’s cheap vulgarities.
“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,” she wrote.
“I have said it once and I’ll say it again, this world has come so far but yet have so much further to go,” Williams continued.
The ITF’s disciplinary response to Nastase’s actions is still pending as its investigation moves forward.