Ilie Nastase made headlines over the weekend by first making racially insensitive comments about Serena Williams’s pregnancy and then disrupting a Fed Cup match. He’s now taken to Facebook to address those issues.
First, the Williams comments. At a news conference Saturday, Nastase was heard to say, “Let’s see what color it has. Chocolate with milk?” about the unborn child of Williams and fiance Alexis Ohanian, who is white. Nastase didn’t really apologize for that in his Facebook post, instead saying he was just being “spontaneous.”
“At the news conference I was asked what opinion I had about Serena being pregnant. I then found out for the first time and my reaction was spontaneous,” Nastase wrote, according to the Associated Press. He added that Williams is “one of the greatest players of all times and I know how much work goes into achieving these results.”
Nastase then discussed his actions Saturday during a Fed Cup match between Romania and Britain, when the Romanian captain swore at player Johanna Konta — who left the court in tears after approaching the umpire — and opposing captain Anne Keothavong. This one actually contained the word “apologies,” though it took a little while to get there.
“I know that nothing can really excuse my words, nor a high-level match, not the nonconformist attitude I am now known for, not the unfortunate amplification of the situation,” he said. “My life remains dedicated to tennis and its public and I ask you to accept, as much as is possible, my apologies.”
But Nastase gonna Nastase, and he couldn’t help but take another shot at Konta.
“I think what happened was exaggerated from all sides. Nonetheless, Johanna Konta should not have spoken with the chair umpire, that’s what the team captain does,” Nastase said. “I asked her in a civilized way for some explanations and she sent me to the tribune where I was removed as captain. After this, the umpire suspended the match. I don’t know why the match was suspended.”
Nastase has been provisionally suspended by the International Tennis Federation for his antics. Williams condemned his statements.