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Serena Williams hits back at 'racist' remarks


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Serena Williams hits back at 'racist' remarks

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Serena Williams, who today returned to tennis’ No 1 spot, has accused a former Grand Slam champion of racially abusing her unborn baby.

Williams announced last week that she was 20 weeks pregnant with her first child.

As elite athletes and celebrities were lining up to congratulate Williams on her news last week, at a pre-match dinner, former world no. 1 Ilie Nastase reportedly said:
“Let’s see what colour it (the baby) has. Chocolate with milk?”

The Romanian, who had a reputation as a ‘bad boy’ in tennis during the 1970s also allegedly called Williams and British No. 1 Johanna Konta “fucking bitches”.

Williams took to Instagram to express her outrage, writing:

“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.”

“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 will rise.”

Nastase, 70, has been provisionally banned from all International Tennis Federation (ITF) events following his verbal abuse of British players last weekend in his role as Romanian Fed Cup captain.

Williams thanked the ITF and said they would have her full support as they investigated the matter.

“(The investigation) is ongoing. At this point, one of the principles that is important is that we want a rigorous process that is fair,” ITF President David Haggerty said on Monday.

“We will also hear Nastase’s side of the argument. It will be a thorough process conducted in an efficient manner. I do not think you will be hearing any final decisions in the next two weeks.”

British captain Anne Keothavong, who said she was made to feel “uncomfortable” by comments made by Nastase at the official pre-match dinner, said the abuse during play had been unacceptable.

“We expected a patriotic crowd for the Romanian team but we don’t expect abusive language to be used … what he said directed to both Johanna (Konta) and myself is … language that is not appropriate for anyone to speak to any other human,” she said.

It seems the incident did not overshadow Williams’ good fortune as she also took to social media to express the joy of ‘sharing’ the world no.1 title with her baby.

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