Serena Williams Responds To Racist Comments With The Words Of Maya Angelou
“I am not afraid unlike you. You see, I am no coward”
Serena Williams’ social media presence has drawn an attentive crowd in the past two weeks as the tennis star issued a strong hint, then a confirmation that she was pregnant with she and fiancé Alexis Ohanian’s first child.
Amid the congratulatory posts and post from those marveling at how she stole the Australian Open from her sister while two months pregnant, Serena also had to deal with negative comments—mostly from lowly internet trolls—but one comment came from Romanian tennis official Ilie Nastase, who found Serena’s pregnancy announcement the appropriate time to drop this gem:
“Let’s see what color it has. Chocolate with milk?”
The insensitive comment was made in his native Romanian, so it’s possible the comment was meant to be more benign, but that seems doubtful. Williams, demonstrating far more restraint than was necessary, responded to the comment with an Instagram post featuring the words of poet Maya Angelou:
Her ending plea has been heard and acted on by the International Tennis Federation. Tennis has long been marketed as the most polite of games, and there’s little chance the governing body would allow its biggest star to be prodded by the likes of Nastase. He was quickly suspended from the sport for his comment and for crassly asking the captain of Great Britain’s tennis team, Anne Keothavong, for her hotel room number during a press event that same day. Not that it has any bearing on his intent, but Keothavong is married and pregnant with her second child.
Here’s the second offense, caught on camera:
Here's Nastase asking Keothavong for her room number. You'll have to lip read but it's not difficult https://t.co/uft5uzoblK— Eleanor Crooks (@Eleanor Crooks) 1492812620.0
No word on how long the suspension will last, but hopefully it’s long enough for Nastase to consider the threat he represents to the social progress of tennis.