Romanian Captain Ejected From Fed Cup Following Racist And Sexist Comments


Romanian Captain Ejected From Fed Cup Following Racist And Sexist Comments

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Ilie Năstase, captain of Romanian’s Fed Cup team, was caught making racist comments about Serena Williams baby during a Q&A at the Fed Cup. The 70-year-old Romanian was heard joked with one of his teammates about what color Williams’ baby would end up being. The controversy did not end there; Năstase was later ejected from the stadium for unsportsmanlike conduct after calling several of the competitors ‘f***ing b*****s’.

This was not the first time he had verbally attacked Williams; in March, Năstase accused the American superstar of doping.  It was also not Năstase first expulsion, as he was also banned from The Davis Cup back in 1994.
Williams addressed the incident in a rather long Instagram post, 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 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.  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? You may shoot me with your words… you may try to kill me with your hatefulness, but still like air, I rise.”

Năstase eventually released his own official apology on Facebook [via ESPN]:
“At the press conference I was asked what opinion I had about Serena being pregnant. I then found out for the first time (she was pregnant) and my reaction was spontaneous. “I know that nothing can really excuse my words, nor a high-level match, not the nonconformist attitude I am now known for, not the unfortunate amplification of the situation. My life remains dedicated to tennis and its public and I ask you to accept, as much as is possible, my apologies.”
Simona Halep, Romania’s star competitor in the event, also defended her captain. “He’s joking all the time and I’m 100% that was a joke,” Halep told reporters. “I don’t believe that was something bad coming from him but I think it was not respectful… he’s like that”
Interestingly enough, the United States were not actually part of the World Group II Play-offs event and Serena Williams was not present at the event when Năstase made his comment. The US will be competing  against Belarus in the final round of The Fed Cup World Group, the world’s largest annual women’s tennis tournament, this coming November.