Serena Williams's fierce black catsuit goes against French Open's possible new dress code, and people are calling it racist and sexist

The French Open might be implementing a new dress code that would stifle Serena Williams, and people are pissed.

The Associated Press reported Friday that the French Tennis Federation president, Bernard Giudicelli, said the tournament is introducing a dress code to regulate players’ uniforms because he thinks “sometimes we’ve gone too far.” In an interview in Tennis magazine’s 500th edition, Giudicelli singled out the tight black Nike suit that Williams wore in May at the French Open, saying, “It will no longer be accepted. One must respect the game and the place.”

It’s unclear as of now what the dress code will look like, or if it will even come to fruition. “We haven’t implemented any dress code for the moment at Roland-Garros,” Giudicelli tells Yahoo Lifestyle when asked about the new regulations. “We are always eager to develop and enhance the best experience for everyone who comes to our tournament. Among many ideas, one is to engage a discussion with the tennis apparel designers regarding dress code tendencies for 2020. As we still have not yet come to any conclusion in this open debate, I cannot comment further at this time.”

Giudicelli was more specific with the AP, however. He said the new rules won’t be as strict as Wimbledon’s, which require that players wear white, but will “impose certain limits.”

Even against outfits that inspire and protect.

“It feels like this suit represents all the women that have been through a lot mentally, physically, with their body to come back and have confidence and to believe in themselves,” Williams said while wearing her Black Panther-inspired one-piece in May. “I’m always living in a fantasy world,” she added. “I always wanted to be a superhero and it’s kind of my way of being a superhero.”

Every superhero needs protective gear, which this suit also served as. A tight uniform like this could save her life by preventing blood clots, which she almost died from during birth. “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.”

So it should come as no surprise that the public is not taking this news well. “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,” one Twitter user pointed out.

Another tweeted: “See now this has really riled me. She’s wearing it to stop blood clots. It’s not some fashion statement.”

Others are confused by how this high-neck pantsuit can be seen as disrespectful when most women wear tiny skirts to play tennis. As one person commented: “It literally has her entire body covered.”

Some noted that the tennis champ and her sister Venus Williams have competed in much more revealing ensembles before. “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…” one user pointed out.

A lot of people have taken issue with the fact that a man is telling a woman how to dress, yet again. “Another example of an old, overweight, white guy in business clothes telling women what to wear. This time it’s from @rolandgarros. It’s a real shame,” a Twitter user stated.

Some are accusing the Federation president of racism. One person tweeted: “What would powerful White people do if they didn’t spend so much time policing Blackness? He is being disrespectful!” while another wrote: “When your very presence is a threat to white supremacy and the #frenchopen singles you out to ban your #blackpanther inspired catsuit. @rolandgarros, thanks for showing your racism for everyone to see.”

A few have suggested that Williams boycott the tournament. One person wrote: “Let their attendance and their ratings suffer for their bigotry.” Another fan suggested that “male tennis players need to take the lead in shutting down the French Open’s new dress code that was created specifically to punish Serena. It should not be on her or other supportive female tennis players alone.”

Or, Williams could take this woman’s advice:

Williams has not responded to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment.

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