And people are mad
Serena Williams wore a tight black catsuit at the French Open earlier this year, which she said she calls her “Wakanda-inspired catsuit”, in reference to Marvel’s recent Black Panther film. But now Bernard Giudicelli, president of the French Tennis Federation, has announced that under the competition’s new rulings the outfit would be banned.
Though he says he wouldn’t enforce as strict clothing rules as Wimbledon, where players can only wear white, Giudicelli told Tennis Magazine: “I believe we have sometimes gone too far. Serena’s outfit this year, for example, would no longer be accepted. You have to respect the game and the place.”
In response, Williams didn’t explicitly agree with his decision, but told reporters that she was sure the two of them could “come to an understanding and everything will be OK,” adding: “It wouldn’t be a big deal. He’s a really great guy”. But others have weighed in on social media (ofc) with much more outraged responses.
Some suggested that the ban on such clothing had racial overtones.
Another case of racism disguised as a “dress code”.— Tariq Nasheed (@tariqnasheed) August 24, 2018
Bernard Giudicelli, head of the French Tennis Federation French Open, said Serena Williams catsuit was inappropriate. But white female tennis players are at the French Open with their whole ass out, and that’s ok pic.twitter.com/xYqnjHofJo
While American sports/politics commentator Keith Olbermann called for an all-out boycott of the competition.
This sexist, racist provincialism directed against Serena is very simply resolved. American sports media should and can immediately stop recognizing the French Open as part of the tennis “Grand Slam.” And players of both genders should decline to play. https://t.co/fEWtvZSCEd— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) August 25, 2018
Former World No. 1 tennis player Billie Jean King – recently depicted in The Battle of the Sexes – framed the ban as a feminist issue, saying the “policing of women’s bodies must end”.