True love: Why Serena Williams’s husband defends her against critics
Serena Williams is one of the biggest legends of tennis and definitely one of the most prominent & successful athletes in the world. She has won twenty-three Grand Slam titles and has excelled at singles, doubles, and mixed doubles. Her outstanding performances have earned her the Sportsperson of the Year title by Sports Illustrated. The list just goes on & on.
Even though the sports world has come a long way, there’s still a lot to do regarding discrimination. Just recently, Serena Williams was criticized for her looks which sparked the ire of the internet. Although Williams’s work usually speaks for itself, this time we also got to see her husband support the renowned athlete on Twitter.
Find out what was said about Serena Williams and the reaction to the hate.
Ion Tiriac’s comments
Ion Tiriac is a businessman who’s also played tennis & hockey professionally. He’s the current president of the Romanian Tennis Federation and the third richest person in Romania.
During an interview on Romanian TV, Tiriac commented: “At this age and the weight she is now, she does not move as easily as she did 15 years ago. . . Serena was a sensational player. If she had a little decency, she would retire.” As expected, Tiriac’s statement caused outrage on the internet.
Tiriac’s words were mostly criticized for being ageist and for body-shaming Serena Williams. Even Tiriac’s interviewer, Irina Pacurariu, reacted to his remarks saying: “You are mean. You were very misogynistic every time you judged Serena.” Some also accused Ion Tiriac of being racist & misogynist, which isn’t the first time he’s been described as such.
In 2018, Tiriac commented the following in a German magazine: “With all due respect, but Serena Williams is 36 and 90 pounds I would like to see something else, I would like to see a player like Steffi Graf.” Serena Williams later branded Tiriac as a misogynist in an interview for The New York Times.
Had to Google it… turns out my 3 year old has more Grand Slam victories than this 🤡🤡 pic.twitter.com/Q2pgsNWFAj
— Alexis Ohanian Sr. 7️⃣7️⃣6️⃣ (@alexisohanian) January 4, 2021
Alexis Ohanian’s response
Serena Williams’s husband & co-founder of Reddit, Alexis Ohanian, replied to Tiriac’s hateful opinion on Twitter. When tennis commentator José Morgado posted an article about Tiriac’s remarks, Ohanian simply responded “Safe to say no one gives a damn what Ion Țiriac thinks.”
Alexis Ohanian also tweeted a screenshot of a Google search for Tiriac’s number of Grand Slams victories. As if that wasn’t enough of a burn, Serena Williams’s husband commented “Had to Google it… turns out my 3 year old has more Grand Slam victories than this 🤡🤡.”
Finally, Alexis Ohanian tweeted: “2021 and no holding back when a racist/sexist clown with a platform comes for my family.” Many Twitter users agreed with Ohanian’s reaction to Tiriac’s hateful comments. What a supportive husband!
Serena’s coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, also expressed her support for Williams stating she has nothing to prove. At least we can rest assured she’s surrounded by people who believe in her.
Serena Williams has had to face hate throughout her entire career so, unfortunately, Tiriac hasn’t been the first person to talk negatively about her. Not only has she been body-shamed, but she’s also been criticized for her clothing choices. In 2018, the successful tennis player also received bad press for wearing a catsuit in The French Open.
The infamous black Nike catsuit wasn’t only a great fashion statement and a nod to Black Panther, but also a potentially life-saving garment. Serena Williams had been suffering from blood clots during the year before the sports event.
Responding to critics, Serena Williams stated: “I have been wearing pants in general a lot when I play, so I can keep the blood circulation going. It’s a fun suit but it’s also functional, so I can be able to play without any problems.” Despite having a good reason for wearing a catsuit, Williams was banned from wearing similar outfits.