Serena Williams’ Black Panther-like catsuit has been banned from all future tennis tournaments. This decision has drawn the attention of various fans and has led to a severe condemnation on social media.
French Open President Bernard Giudicelli revealed this during an interview with Tennis Magazine. Bernard said that Williams along with other players would have to be more conservative in the comings days.
“It’s a bit late because the collections are already designed but we are going to nonetheless ask the manufacturers to let us know what is coming,” Giudicelli said. “I believe we have sometimes gone too far. Serena’s outfit this year, for example, would no longer be accepted. You have to respect the game and the place.”
We saw Williams wearing a Nike skin/tight outfit as it protects blood clots. Williams almost died while giving birth to her daughter Olympia because of a swelling of clotted blood outside a vessel.
“First my C-section wound popped open due to the intense coughing I endured as a result of the embolism. I returned to surgery, where the doctors found a large hematoma, a swelling of clotted blood, in my abdomen. And then I returned to the operating room for a procedure that prevents clots from traveling to my lungs,” Williams explained.
“It’s cool, I call it my Wakanda-inspired catsuit, it’s really fun. Although we designed it way before the movie, but still, it kind of reminds me of that,” she said earlier this year. She said at the competition the outfit made her feel “like a warrior princess” and that it allowed her “an opportunity to inspire a whole different group of amazing women and kids.”
— Nike (@Nike) 25 August 2018
Nike responded to the controversy by posting a tweet showing Williams in action with Nike’s iconic “just do it” logo as the hashtag. Since then, fans have criticised the President and his ban. Keith Olbermann, who’s a renowned sports commentator has even dubbed the move as “sexist” and “racist”. Check Keith’s, and some other reactions following the incident, below:
This sexist, racist provincialism directed against Serena is very simply resolved. American sports media should and can immediately stop recognizing the French Open as part of the tennis “Grand Slam.” And players of both genders should decline to play. https://t.co/fEWtvZSCEd
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) 25 August 2018
I think Serena Williams should start her own tournament and have it at the same time as the French open. I’d watch it over the French any day of the week.
— Zerlina Maxwell (@ZerlinaMaxwell) 25 August 2018
Serena Williams: *wins 23 grand slam titles*
Serena Williams: *passes multiple drug tests*
Serena Williams: *nearly dies during childbirth*
Serena Williams: *makes Wimbledon final after nearly dying*
Some guy: “Yeah, but I don’t like how she dresses…”
— Philippa H Stewart (@Flip_Stewart) 25 August 2018
Is this what the French Open had in mind for Serena Williams? pic.twitter.com/m9o4p8dKJ0
— Covfefe Pecker-Weissel Jones???? (@PromoteMyCause) 25 August 2018
so Serena Williams, the greatest tennis player of all time, can’t wear a black bodysuit that was specially made to prevent blood clotting due to post-birth health complications during the French Open because she “needs to respect the game?”
Serena Williams IS the game.
— Brian Gay (@brian2596) 24 August 2018
Yeah, I’m pretty sure Serena Williams shows “respect” for the game by playing it better than, you know, everyone ever.
— Jesse Wente (@jessewente) 25 August 2018
I’m so freaking tired of people treating @serenawilliams with disrespect. When will y’all realize that Serena is the best thing that’s ever happened to women’s tennis and the best female athlete ever. She should be able to play in body paint and bugs bunny ears if she wants??
— Darko (@DarkoGrncarov) 25 August 2018
Let’s call this French Open restriction on Serena Williams for what it is- racist and sexist. Arbitrary dress code policies have been disproportionately used to target Black women in schools, at work and now on the tennis court. This is the unfair policing of Black women’s bodies https://t.co/kbMbLSHF2a
— Kristen Clarke (@KristenClarkeJD) 25 August 2018
Roger Federer wears all black is celebrated and given “cool” nickname “Darth Federer”
Serena Williams wears all black is singled out by French Open president for criticism and has outfit banned from major Grand Slam pic.twitter.com/28ZES1riX4
— Dallas Hunt (@Dallas_Hunt) 24 August 2018
Anne White wore a catsuit in 1985.
Serena Williams is not allowed to wear one in 2019. pic.twitter.com/maSMckXo26
— Simon Hedlin (@simonhedlin) 25 August 2018
— ESPN (@espn) 25 August 2018