Serena Williams isn’t taking Romanian tennis player Ilie Nastase’s racially charged comments about her unborn child lightly and she’s throwing her support behind an investigation on the matter, leading him to issue a curt response.
“Let’s see what color it has,” Nastase said in Romanian at a Saturday, April 22, press conference ahead of the playoff tie between Romania and Great Britain in Constanta, according to ESPN. “Chocolate with milk?”
Nastase had not been asked to comment on the matter, but he audibly made one to the team.
“It disappoints me to know that we live in a society where people like Ilie Nastase can make such racist comments toward myself and unborn child …,” Williams wrote on Instagram Monday, April 24. “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.”
After quoting Maya Angelou’s poem, “Still I Rise,” Williams revealed the International Tennis Federation has her “full support” in an investigation of Nastase’s comments.
The ITF released a statement saying is reviewing Nastase’s remarks.
“The ITF does not tolerate discriminatory and offensive language and behavior of any kind,” the statement issued to the press read. “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.”
“Anything I say, I am the bad boy,” Nastase told the Associated Press Tuesday when he was asked about Williams’ response. “Why write a news story like this? Just to have a scandal? There are many more important things going on.”