Serena Williams was told she wasn’t allowed to wear her “Black Panther” catsuit back to the French Open because she had to “respect the game.” So for her next public match during the US Open on Tuesday, she did just that. She showed up in a tutu.
The younger Williams sister—one of the greatest American athletes in history, and certainly the greatest tennis player of all time—was recently called out by the president of the French Tennis Federation for wearing an “inappropriate” skin-tight bodysuit at the French Open.
It made no difference that the black catsuit was designed specifically to promote blood circulation and prevent the blood clots Williams began developing after pregnancy and which threatened to take her life. It mattered even less that the bodysuit made the tennis legend “feel like a warrior in it, like a warrior princess kind of queen from Wakanda maybe.”
None of this mattered because FTF president Bernard Giudicelli said “I think that sometimes we’ve gone too far,” and specifically noted Williams’ black bodysuit while elaborating, “It will no longer be accepted. One must respect the game and the place.”
Williams wore the suit during her win in the first round of the French Open (she pulled out after injuring a chest muscle in a later round). “I’ve been wearing pants a lot in general when I play so I can keep the blood circulation going,” she told reporters. “It’s a fun suit, but it’s also functional so I can play without any problems.”
Though fans on social media couldn’t help but see Giudicelli’s arbitrary rule as both racist and misogynist, Williams didn’t seem to take issue with it. “When it comes to fashion, you don’t want to be a repeat offender,” she said, according to CNN.
“We already talked, we have a great relationship,” Williams said of Giudicelli in Sunday’s press conference ahead of Monday’s US Open. “We talked yesterday—everything is fine guys,” she laughed.
Which brings us to Serena William’s game day outfit yesterday at the US Open, where she donned a badass, black tulle tutu, along with a pair of fishnet tights for that punch of compression.
Williams’ tutu dress was designed by Virgil Abloh as a part of his “QUEEN” collaboration with Nike, which was inspired by none other than Serena herself.
Needless to say, people loved it.
Serena Williams stayed silent and unproblematic when the French Open banned her black catsuit— Lili (@ChisecheSays) August 28, 2018
....and showed up in a mutherfudging TUTU!!
I stan an I'll-be-damned-if-I'm-compliant queen pic.twitter.com/UX1hC93xO8
Hey? Everybody? THIS is peak petty, and it is GLORIOUS. ???? https://t.co/28SQXPzEVY— N. K. Jemisin (@nkjemisin) August 28, 2018
Serena Williams was told she wasn't allowed to wear her “Black Panther” catsuit back to the French Open because she had to "respect the game."— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) August 28, 2018
So she showed up in a tutu. ????https://t.co/WifbS5iDpk
Serena’s U.S. open outfit is everything???????? pic.twitter.com/mDS21SSEkd— Blk Girl Culture (@blkgirlculture) August 28, 2018
Let’s not forget that Serena Williams, literally, IS the game of tennis. Oh, and, by the way? She won. ?