Tennis legend Serena Williams has expressed her disappointment over “racist comments” made about her by suspended Fed Cup captain, Ilie Nastase.
The 23-time major winner shared a statement to social media on Tuesday in which she vowed to continue fighting “for what’s right” in the face of ongoing prejudice.
“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 35-year-old wrote.
"I have said it once and I'll say it again, this world has come so far but yet we have so much further to go. Yes, we have broken down so many barriers — however there are a plethora more to go".
Williams was responding to comments made by the former French and US Open champion during a Fed Cup press conference in London on Friday in which he speculated about the colour of her child's skin.
After referring to Williams' recently announced pregnancy to partner and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, the 70-year-old was heard saying in Romanian, “Let’s see what colour it has. Chocolate with milk?”
Speaking to media in the wake of the public backlash against him, Nastase dismissed his comments as a harmless joke.
"I want to know what word I used is racist?" he reportedly asked The Associated Press.
In her statement, Williams also acknowledged the sexist comments made by Nastase toward British player Johanna Konta and British captain Anne Keothavong during Fed Cup matches over the weekend.
Serena Williams isn't here to make friends. Post continues...
The former world number one reportedly called them “f**king b**ches", and also swore at the chair umpire, saying, “What’s your f**king problem?”
He was ejected from the Romania vs. Britain contest and provisionally suspended by the International Tennis Federation.
Referencing the decision, Williams wrote, "I humbly thank the ITF for any consideration given to all the facts in this case. They will have my full support".
Williams' full statement: