The French Open appears to be sidelining Serena Williams' famed catsuits, with the tournament's chief saying they "would no longer be accepted."
The tennis pro, 36, wore the Black Panther-inspired bodysuit earlier in May to mark her return to her first major tournament since giving birth to her daughter last year.
But, in an interview with Tennis magazine Thursday, French Open president Bernard Giudicelli said Williams and other players will have to dress more conservatively in future tournaments.
According to the U.K. newspaper The Independent, he singled out Williams in an interview today, saying, "I believe we have sometimes gone too far. Serena’s outfit this year, for example, would no longer be accepted. You have to respect the game and the place."
Besides allowing Williams to feel like a queen from Black Panther's fictional Wakanda, she said the fitted suit was designed to protect her against blood clots. Williams did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
After giving birth to Alexis Olympia last September, Williams revealed that she dealt with life-threatening complications related to a pulmonary embolism.
At the French Open, Williams told reporters that the suit was more than just a fashion statement.
"I had a lot of problems with my blood clots, and, God, I don’t know how many I have had in the past 12 months. So it is definitely a little functionality to it," she said.
"I have been wearing pants in general a lot when I play, so I can keep the blood circulation going," she added. "It’s a fun suit but it’s also functional, so I can be able to play without any problems."
Williams, who just arrived in New York for the U.S. Open, has not yet commented on Giudicelli's remarks. But on social media, "French Open" was a trending topic as fans reacted critically to the tournament president's remarks, calling them misogynistic and even racist.
This is wrong on so many levels. How are we still in an era where a man decides what a woman wears to work?— Tobi Oredein (@IamTobiOredein) August 24, 2018
Coz Serena playing tennis is her job. https://t.co/ZQyA26uXVx
Serena Williams, who wore an outfit specifically designed to help prevent blood clots because she almost *died* after giving birth, won't be able to wear her catsuit again at the French Open because the tournament chief...doesn't like it.— Rafi (@RafiDAngelo) August 24, 2018
That's literally the only reason. https://t.co/TiLo8JcSJj
Why is Serena’s catsuit all of a sudden a problem now? It has been done before and she’s worn less AT the actual French Open in 2004... pic.twitter.com/pVMXg7GxMi— Petunia (@stjeantropez) August 24, 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