Nike has responded to Serena Williams’ Nike catsuit being banned at next year’s French Open. The company tweeted an image of the tennis legend with the caption, “You can take the superhero out of her costume, but you can never take away her superpowers.”
French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli recently announced the introduction of a dress code in an interview with Tennis magazine, stating, “I think that sometimes we’ve gone too far.” He continued, referring to Williams’ catsuit, “It will no longer be accepted. One must respect the game and the place.”
Unlike Wimbledon, which mandates all-white attire, the French Open — known as Roland Garros — has until now had no dress code. Giudicelli has said the French rules won’t be as strict as Wimbledon, but will “impose certain limits.”
At this year’s French Open, Williams wore the all-black Nike catsuit following the birth of her daughter, in part to prevent life-threatening blood clots. She said the suit made her feel like “warrior princess” and a “queen” from Wakanda. “I’m always living in a fantasy world,” Williams told The Boston Globe in June. “I always wanted to be a superhero, and it’s kind of my way of being a superhero. I feel like a superhero when I wear it.”
Referring to the ban, Williams joked over the weekend, “When it comes to fashion, you don’t want to be a repeat offender.”
Dispelling the controversy, Williams also said, “I think that, obviously, the Grand Slams have a right to do what they want to do. I feel like if and when, or if they know that some things are for health reasons, then there’s no way that they wouldn’t be OK with it.
“The president of the French federation, he’s been really amazing. He’s been so easy to talk to. My whole team is basically French, so we have a wonderful relationship. We talked yesterday. Everything’s fine guys.”
What do you think of the ban? Let us know in the comments below.
In related news, Serena Williams is the highest-paid female athlete of 2018, according to Forbes’ annual list.