Serena Williams is calling remarks made by former world No. 1 tennis star Ilie Nastase about her unborn baby “racist.”
At a press conference on Friday, Nastase was overheard telling a reporter: “Let’s see what color it has. Chocolate with milk?” reports ESPN.
Williams, who confirmed her pregnancy with Alexis Ohanian to PEOPLE last week, penned a response to social media on Monday.
“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,” the 35-year-old athlete wrote on Instagram.
She added: “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.”
The International Tennis Federation said they “don’t 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,” the ITF said in a statement.
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The Federation is continuing its investigation, reports Huffington Post.
In a separate incident, Britain’s Press Association reports that Nastase harassed the journalist who reported his comments about Williams, saying: “Why did you write that? You’re stupid, you’re stupid.”