Racist former Romanian tennis player Ilie Nastase, 70, has been suspended by the ITF for expressing not only predictably racist barbs about Serena Williams' unborn child, but also for sexually harassing female players while on the court. Serena Williams has released a statement about Nastase and his throwback behavior, saying that Nastase might not have changed with the times, but the world has moved on without him.
Tennis might look polite, with its all-white tennis clothing, umpires, and linesman, but Ilie Nastase's resurgence reminds people of the dark side when certain people wanted to keep the sport all-white. However, there is also the whiff of cheating, as last year, top men's player Novak Djokovic revealed that even he has been approached about the lucrative nature of match fixing, says the Inquisitr. Djokovic explained that through his people, he was approached to throw a match for $200k. And it turns out that sixteen people in the top fifty of tennis are suspected of actually taking the money to throw a match.It seems that time and age has not mellowed Ilie "Nasty" Nastase, who might have aged out of playing, but he is now the Fed Cup captain for the Romanian tennis team. Though the Serena Williams comments might have sparked the attention of the International Tennis Federation (ITF), it just topped the pile of bad behavior for Nastase, whose vulgar comments from the seventies seem to be making a comeback.
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First, Ilie Nastase did start by making snarky, race-based comments about Serena Williams' unborn child with fiance Alexis Ohanian, but it didn't stop there.
"Let's see what color it has. Chocolate with milk?"
However, before Nastase made that comment, he was already in trouble after harassing the captain of the British team, Anne Keothavongand, and one of her players, ButJohanna Konta, calling them "f***ing b**tches" and shouting obscenities at the chair umpire. Nastase was reportedly fired up after publicly asking Keothavongand for her hotel room number at a pre-game dinner. Following the on court rant, Nastase was ejected.
Following that event, the ITF issued a statement.
"The ITF's Internal Adjudication Panel has issued Ilie Nastase with a provisional suspension under the Fed Cup regulations for a breach of the Fed Cup welfare policy at the tie in Constanta."However, after that, Nastase continued with the comments about Serena Williams, a top, if not the top, player in women's tennis, and that was a step too far for the ITF, which issued another statement to cover the rest of Nastase's vulgar behavior.
"The ITF does not tolerate discriminatory and offensive language and behavior of any kind. We are aware of alleged comments made by Romanian Captain Ilie Nastase and have begun an immediate investigation so that we have the full facts of the situation before taking further and appropriate action."
Sadly for Nastase, this is the most press he has gotten in thirty years.
However, while Serena Williams is going to let the ITF handle the punishment of Nastase, she wanted to make a statement about her disappointment that people like the former Romanian tennis player still exist in the world.
"It disappoints me to know we live in a society which people like Ilie Nastase can make such racist comments towards myself and unborn child, and sexist comments against my peers."Williams attributes her new zen reaction to her pregnancy, and love for her unborn child in saying that it is fear that causes Nastase to act out.
"This or anything else will not stop me from pouring love, light and positivity into everything that I do. I will continue to take a lead and stand up for what's right. I am not afraid unlike you. You see, I am no coward. Does my sassiness upset you. Why are you beset with gloom?"
Williams then added that she would fully cooperate with the ITF in this matter, concerning the investigation into Ilie Nastase's behavior.
"I humbly thank the ITF for any consideration given to all the facts in this case. They will have my full support."
What do you think of Ilie Nastase's "comeback" rehashing his behavior from the seventies with racist comments about Serena Williams' unborn child?
[Featured Image by Scott Barbour/Getty Images]