- The black catsuit Serena Williams wore during the French Open has reportedly been banned.
- The outfit was a medical necessity for Williams to help prevent blood clots.
- Williams also said during the French Open that the outfit made her feel like a Warrior Princess.
- Bernard Giudicelli, the president of the French Tennis Federation, said the outfit would no longer be accepted because “you have to respect the game and the place.”
- Nike responded to the controversial ban with a perfect response emphasizing that it is not the outfit that gives Serena her superpowers.
Bernard Giudicelli, the president of the French Tennis Federation, caused an uproar earlier this week when he said the black catsuit Serena Williams wore during this year’s French Open would “no longer be accepted,” because it did not respect the sport or the tournament.
“We are going to nonetheless ask the manufacturers to let us know what [outfits are] coming,” Giudicelli told France’s 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.”
On Friday evening, Nike responded to the decision in the best way possible short of extending a giant middle finger.
Nike posted a black-and-white image of Serena in the outfit with the message, “You can take the superhero out of her costume, but you can never take away her superpowers.”
Williams wore the special suit for medical reasons, to help prevent blood clots. However, she also noted that the ‘Black Panther’-style catsuit also made her feel like a “warrior princess.”
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The outfit was designed before the hit movie “Black Panther” was released, but she told The Guardian in May that the outfit reminded her of the film.
“I’m always living in a fantasy world,” she said. “I always wanted to be a superhero, and it’s kind of my way of being a superhero.”
It is an unusual move by a sport to offer such a sharp rebuke of their biggest star. Many feel it would have never happened if Williams was not a black woman.