Williams posted this message on Instagram, via ABC News:
“It disappoints me to know we live in a society where people like Ilie Nastase can make such racist comments towards myself and (my) unborn child.”
The 23-time grand slam winner announced to the world on April 19 that she was 20 weeks pregnant. Rather than congratulate Williams, 70-year-old Ilie Nastase reportedly said, “Let’s see what color it has. Chocolate with milk?” according to Romanian and British media.
Since Williams’ fiancé, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, is White, Nastase is apparently commenting on the racial identity of the tennis star’s unborn child.
The tennis champion also called out Nastase on social media for “sexist comments” toward three women during Fed Cup matches over the past weekend.
According to the BBC, British player Johanna Konta was in tears on Saturday over the incident, which resulted in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) suspending Nastase.
Williams said, “I humbly thank the ITF for any consideration given to all the facts in this case. They will have my full support,” ABC News reported.
Nastase says he has nothing to apologize for regarding his remarks about Williams’ baby. “I want to know what word I used is racist?” he told the Associated Press.
Nastase did admit, however, that he lost his cool during his team’s match against Britain but thought the punishment was “crazy.”
Meanwhile, the ITF is investigating his remarks about Williams.