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Billie Jean King Calls Out French Open Officials After Serena Williams’ ‘Catsuit’ Is Banned

Tennis icon and gender equality advocate Billie Jean King has called out officials from the French Open after their decision to ban Serena Williams’s “catsuit.”

The new ruling was a reaction to Williams wearing a full body compression suit during the French Open. According to Williams the suit was designed to prevent blood clots which the tennis star suffered from after giving birth last year. During the Open, Williams said the Nike designed outfit made her feel like a “warrior princess.”

In an interview with Tennis Magazine, French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli said the tournament was adding the new dress code because “I think that sometimes we’ve gone too far,” later adding “One must respect the game and the place.”

But as far as King and others are concerned it was the French Open that had gone too far.

In a tweet posted on Saturday, King called out the Open saying, “The policing of women’s bodies must end. The ‘respect’ that’s needed is for the exceptional talent Serena Williams brings to the game. Criticizing what she wears to work is where the true disrespect lies.”

Williams, however, seemed nonchalant about the ruling as she spoke during a press conference before the U.S. Open.

“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 okay with it. So I think it’s fine. When it comes to fashion, you don’t want to be a repeat offender.”

King wasn’t the only one troubled by the French Open’s ruling though.

And many questioned the motives behind the ban.

Williams handled the ban like a champion, showing up to the U.S. Open in a tutu designed by Louis Vuitton.

But who knows what new dress codes the French tournament might come up with by next year?

H/T – The Cut, AP News


Written by Dennis Matthew Livesey

Matt is a writer, designer, and native New Yorker. He has worked in film, where he enjoyed a brief career as a stand-in for Ian Holm; finance, where he pretended to understand his job, and real estate, where nothing remarkable happened. He writes about science, technology, and media. His work includes magazine articles, one published book, and the looming inevitability of the second.