Who’s the Better Sport?

Serena Williams vs. Bernard Giudicelli

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

?Over the past couple of weeks or so, scandal shook the Wild World of Tennis. The dilemma? French Open president Bernard Giudicelli has commented about putting a dress code for tennis players. And why? Tennis player Serena Williams wore a catsuit while playing, which caused things to go “too far.” Giudicelli has even gone so far as to have a committee of French Tennis executives look over every outfit each player is wearing before they play.     

Now, in reaction to this bit of news, the first thing that comes to mind is: I don’t get it. Nobody gets it. What is it about Williams’s catsuit that could rub some sports executive the wrong way? She’s not wearing anything revealing. If that were the case, that would be one thing, but this catsuit doesn’t show much skin in any way. And after a while of scrolling through articles about this matter, the answer isn’t clear enough to where it makes sense.  

On top of which, take a good look at Giudicelli. Seriously, look at this guy. Now let me ask you something. If you were a fat, middle-aged, balding, white dude who could make any tie he wears look blasé, would you really be the one who’s credible enough to criticize women’s fashion?

And here’s something interesting, as pointed out by The Daily Edge. Giudicelli made his comments about Williams’s outfit while ignoring the benefits it provided for her. Williams had been dealing with pulmonary embolisms for a while, and the catsuit was designed to be compressed so Williams wouldn’t develop blood clots while she’s playing the game.        

To top it off, a picture on Project GirlSpire’s Twitter page compares Williams’s catsuit to Anna White’s uniform in 1985. Back then, there was no controversy to be found. Only now does a full-body catsuit get the scandalous attention? I know the eighties had a lot of questionable fashion atrocities but come on! White’s and Williams’s outfits and anything of the like doesn’t give cause for concern in any way.   

Does the comment imply that Giudicelli is racist? Most possible conclusion: yes. When something is apparently a ‘problem,’ it’s more than likely that someone’s priorities aren’t exactly on the game as much as it is the skin tone.

Fortunately for Williams, Nike has seemed to make the right call. In a Twitter statement on August 24, Nike stated, “You can take the superhero out of her costume, but you can never take away her superpowers.” And when a multi-million-dollar corporation appears to have the moral high ground over something pathetically unjust, something’s gone very wrong.      

It may be a ridiculous situation for all parties involved. On the other hand, Williams has seemed to have taken the situation with grace. In retaliation for Giudicelli’s comments, she has decided to wear a tutu for every game she’s been playing. And, win or lose, she looks absolutely fabulous while she’s going at it. Graceful pettiness: wouldn’t expect anything more.   

In all seriousness, though, Williams is also the type of player who knows what’s important. Now, I may not be a sporty person per say, but I have to give critically acclaimed athletes this: they know where their priorities lie. They dress modestly and practically, but when all is said and done, it’s not the point. They play a good game, and people can appreciate them for that.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you wear, it’s how you play the game. And on that front, I say Williams has done well, all things considered of course. Giudicelli, by stark contrast, should consider hitting the showers as well as the gym. Perhaps only then would he think twice before criticizing women’s attire in the field.