Ilie Nastase Apologizes for Comments on Serena Williams' Pregnancy, Baby

Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistApril 28, 2017

FILE - In this Monday, May 23, 2016, file photo, former Romanian tennis player Ilie Nastase watches a match at the French Open tennis tournament in Paris, France.  Nastase made an attempt at apologizing for his comments about Serena Williams and his outburst during a Fed Cup match. The 70-year-old tennis great posted a statement on Facebook a week after he speculated about the skin color of the baby the pregnant Williams is expecting. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)
Alastair Grant/Associated Press

Romanian Fed Cup captain Ilie Nastase issued an apology to Serena Williams on Friday after he made racist remarks about her baby.

"At the press conference I was asked what opinion I had about Serena being pregnant. I then found out for the first time (she was pregnant) and my reaction was spontaneous," Nastase wrote on Facebook, according to the Associated Press (via ESPN.com).  

"I know that nothing can really excuse my words, nor a high-level match, not the nonconformist attitude I am now known for, not the unfortunate amplification of the situation," he added. "My life remains dedicated to tennis and its public and I ask you to accept, as much as is possible, my apologies."

At a Fed Cup press conference last Saturday, Nastase said the following in response to a question about Williams' pregnancy, according to ESPN.com"Let's see what color it has. Chocolate with milk?"

Williams is engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, who is white. 

Since then, the International Tennis Federation has launched an investigation into the comments, saying it "does not tolerate discriminatory and offensive language and behaviour of any kind," per ESPN.com. 

Williams responded to Nastase's remarks Monday with a post on Instagram: 

A day later, Nastase told the Associated Press (via USA Today) he thought he was being unfairly targeted for his comments. 

"Anything I say, I am the bad boy," he said. "Why write a news story like this? Just to have a scandal? There are many more important things going on."