Sadly, we have to preface Serena Williams‘ awesomeness with another person’s awfulness. Ilie Nastase is a retired tennis player from Romania. Instead of taking up the game of golf, or playing mixed doubles with some other 70-plus retirees, Nastase has kept busy coaching the Romanian women’s team during international play. Normally we’d say more power to him, but in this case, maybe retirement is the right option. On the day before Romania faced off against Great Britain in a Fed Cup playoff, Captain Nastase made a comment about Williams that was so disturbing, so disgusting, so blatantly racist, that he’s now being investigated by the International Tennis Federation.
At a news conference previewing the matches, ESPN reports that Captain D-bag was heard saying of Serena’s baby, “Let’s see what colour it has. Chocolate with milk?”
What. The. HELL?! Nastase wasn’t even asked about Williams; he made the comment to the other players, clearly audible but in Romanian, as his country’s No. 1, Simona Halep, was answering a question about Serena. Oh, Ilie. Sure, maybe the majority of journalists in the room didn’t understand Romanian, but Google Translate is a wonderful — and wonderfully revealing — thing.
Williams, who recently announced that she and fiancé Alexis Ohanian are expecting their first child and that she will take time away from the tour, took to Instagram to share her feelings about the incident and, as usual, kept it classy and perfect.
This wasn’t the first time Ilie had crap to say about Serena. Last month, he accused the 23-time grand slam singles champion of doping, based solely on her body. Ugh.
The ITF has launched an investigation, saying in a statement: “The ITF does not tolerate discriminatory and offensive language and behaviour 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.”
Nastase was on fire over the last few days. ESPN reports that he was constantly hitting on Great Britain captain Anne Keothavong, and then during the Romania/Great Britain match, he called Keothavong and player Johanna Konta “f*cking b*tches.” Nastase was removed from the stands but the damage by a racist train wreck was done. Not sure what can, or will, be done but there’s not enough duct tape in the world to keep a trap this gross shut.
Nastase escorted back to the locker rooms pic.twitter.com/4M9Ck4Frng
— Eleanor Crooks (@EleanorcrooksPA) April 22, 2017