Serena Williams will no longer be able to wear her powerful black body suit to the French Open owing to a new dress code the federation will be issuing. In an interview with Tennis magazine, French Tennis Federation President Bernard Giudicelli specifically mentioned Williams’ last year’s outfit and remarked, “It will no longer be accepted.” Giudicelli was further quoted saying, “I believe we have sometimes gone too far. You have to respect the game and the place.”
The 23-time Grand Slam champion had said the outfit made her feel like a “superhero” at Roland Garros this year. The catsuit in question was designed by Nike that helped her cope with the issue of blood clots — like the ones that almost killed her after the birth of her daughter.
The decision left Tennis fans around the world fuming and many took to social media to raise their voice in protest. While some asked how it was okay to wear revealing dresses on court and not a body suit that covered her entire body.
Nike, the brand that designed her special bodysuit for medical reasons too came out in support of the ace player and slammed the French Open’s new dress code saying, “You can take the superhero out of her costume, but you can never take away her superpowers.”
— Nike (@Nike) August 25, 2018
While some furnished proofs that it wasn’t the first time a woman wore a bodysuit on tennis court, other alleged the ban was not only sexist but also racist. Here’s how people reacted to the ban:
Anne White wore a catsuit in 1985.
Serena Williams is not allowed to wear one in 2019. pic.twitter.com/maSMckXo26
— Simon Hedlin (@simonhedlin) August 25, 2018
The idea that Serena Williams’ catsuit signals she doesn’t respect the game of tennis is ridiculous for a number reasons, but especially because her catsuit wasn’t unprecedented. Anne White wore a catsuit back in 1985 at Wimbledon. pic.twitter.com/ekAzc9k1De
— Nadra Nittle (@NadraKareem) August 24, 2018
Having had multiple pulmonary embolisms, Serena Williams is not allowed to use a specially designed black catsuit that helps prevents blood clots from developing in the legs. Because the French Open doesn’t like how it looks. That’s racist, sexist, and dangerous.
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) August 24, 2018
— Elizabeth Banks (@ElizabethBanks) August 24, 2018
The game seems quite content to be played no matter what women wear. Perhaps this man should focus on his own fashion choices and respect the GOAT’s rights to wear whatever the hell she pleases. #getoffhercourt https://t.co/sS7QcyJp3y
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) August 24, 2018
Another case of racism disguised as a “dress code”.
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
— Tariq Nasheed (@tariqnasheed) August 24, 2018
Let’s call this French Open restriction on Serena Williams for what it is- racist and sexist. Arbitrary dress code policies have been disproportionately used to target Black women in schools, at work and now on the tennis court. This is the unfair policing of Black women’s bodies https://t.co/kbMbLSHF2a
— Kristen Clarke (@KristenClarkeJD) August 25, 2018
the serena williams catsuit ban is racist.
i’m not looking to debate this as i am tired of debating absolutes.
— Molly Priddy (@mollypriddy) August 24, 2018
How many times does Serena Williams have to be disrespected? It’s in the language used to describe her or her health-designed bodysuit they just condemned. Why this arbitrary constant picking at an athlete that has given so much to the game of tennis w grace & dominance? SMH😡
— Rosalyn Gold-Onwude (@ROSGO21) August 24, 2018
The French Open has banned Serena Williams’ black suit, saying that, ”I think that sometimes we’ve gone too far…One must respect the game and the place”
I *really* want to know how the outfit on the left is less “respectful” of the game of tennis than the outfit on the right pic.twitter.com/3iNUrkDd8y
— Mangy Jay (@magi_jay) August 24, 2018
Just ridiculous. Serena has done nothing BUT respect the game. Serena Williams is almost always singled out in tennis. This comes down to what they feel is “acceptable” on a tennis court. It’s not her job to make you feel comfortable.
Also, the suit helps her combat blood clots. https://t.co/gR2XqJLi3j
— Taylor Rooks (@TaylorRooks) August 24, 2018
Roger Federer wears all black is celebrated and given “cool” nickname “Darth Federer”
Serena Williams wears all black is singled out by French Open president for criticism and has outfit banned from major Grand Slam pic.twitter.com/28ZES1riX4
— Dallas Hunt (@Dallas_Hunt) August 24, 2018
White patriarchy has an assigned tile place for us all and uses “respect” and “rules” that it and it alone defines to keep those of us who bear the brunt of its brutality in our assigned place. Serena Williams is a Superhero.
— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) August 24, 2018
It is well known that Serena Williams started wearing the compression suit as a means to helping with her blood clots issue.
This is just another example of people trying to disrespect a black woman who is dominating. https://t.co/6zFLxWnOpj
— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) August 24, 2018
The Serena Williams issue seems more like a sexist debacle to me.
Her symbol of female health and power, the black bodysuit is banned
Where clothing used to objectify women on a big stage, the miniskirt, is wholly welcomed
— Keith Danso (@KeithDanso) August 25, 2018
Serena Williams being told not to wear her black cat suit which was meant to prevent blood clot is both sexist and racist,let’s call it what it is
— On-nown👸 (@Cijae1) August 25, 2018
During the French Open I saw many White players who were nearly naked, but Bernard Giudicelli decides Serena Williams’ catsuit was disrespectful?!?! What would powerful White people do if they didn’t spend so much time policing Blackness? He is being disrespectful! pic.twitter.com/dHRBo5vShA
— I Block Bigots (@Fiorentina5) August 24, 2018
I hope Serena chooses not to return to the French Open for the rest of her career.
Mrs. Serena Williams, 23-time Singles Grand Slam Champion, greatest tennis player of all time, doesn’t need to attend a tournament that is blatantly racist and misogynist.
— Golden (@mylessgolden) August 24, 2018
French Tennis Federation President, Bernard Giuducelli, doesn’t “like” Serena Williams’ bodysuit, which was designed to, oh I don’t know, help keep her alive
— Diana 🇺🇸 (@DMR09) August 25, 2018
So Serena William’s bodysuit is a problem but whit mini skirts and shorts aren’t?
— Cee Barbie 🇳🇬🎒 (@ceetheunknown) August 24, 2018