Tennis legend and Romanian Fed Cup captain Ilie Nastase is being investigated by the ITF for racially-insensitive comments about Serena Williams' pregnancy, Press Association Sport reports (via ESPN.com).
During a press conference Friday ahead of Romania's Fed Cup playoff against Great Britain, Nastase was overheard saying of Williams’ baby, "Let's see what colour it has. Chocolate with milk?"
Williams and her fiancé Alexis Ohanian, who is white, announced last week they are expecting their first child.
Nastase was not speaking directly to reporters and made the comments in Romanian while Romanian player Simona Halep answered questions about Serena.
“The ITF does not tolerate discriminatory and offensive language and behaviour of any kind,” the governing body said in a statement. “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 will surely consider Nastase’s Saturday morning rant as part of its investigation. Nastase isn’t happy his comments were reported, and he sought out Eleanor Crooks, the Press Association Sport writer who reported the story, to let her know.
“Why did you write that? You’re stupid, you’re stupid,” Nastase berated Crooks at the press center at the Tennis Club IDU in Costanta, The Guardian reported.
Said Crooks, “He repeatedly called me stupid, asked me why what he said was racist. I explained we simply reported what he said and that it was unnecessary to make such a comment about colour. He said the English were out to get him and called me stupid a few more times."
Friday’s comments mark the second time in a month Nastase has something controversial to say about Serena. Speaking recently with Romanian media, he alleged Williams must be doping based on her physique, Press Association Sport notes.