Nike Responds to Serena Williams' Catsuit Ban

After the French Open decided to ban Serena Williams from wearing her unique catsuit gear, her partners at Nike offer a subtle and powerful response in solidarity.

Serena Williams French Open Catsuit
USA Today Sports

Image via Susan Mullane for USA Today Sports

Serena Williams French Open Catsuit

Yesterday, news hit that French Open officials have revised the tournament's dress code, prohibiting garments such as the black catsuit worn by Serena Williams earlier this year. Williams, who has occasionally worn catsuits on the court since the early 2000s, previously said the Nike-designed piece made her feel like a "superhero." Additionally, the suit was made to be functional, aiding her with improved circulation and quicker recovery.

French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli explained the decision in Tennis Magazine (H/T ESPN), singling out Williams' catsuit by saying "It will no longer be accepted. One must respect the game and the place."

As gracious as ever, Williams downplayed the decision, saying that she's spoken to Giudicelli and everything is fine.

.@serenawilliams made light of the French Open banning her catsuit:

Williams' supporters aren't letting Giudicelli off that easily, though. While the code doesn't only apply to Williams, many believe she's been singled out for a number of reasons, including gender, race, and body type, causing an uproar on social media platforms such as Twitter. One of her biggest supporters, her team at Nike, released the following graphic in response to the new dress code.

You can take the superhero out of her costume, but you can never take away her superpowers. #justdoit

And the support doesn't end there. Some of Serena's fellow sports legends are using their platforms to speak out against the decision.

Love the black catsuit @serenawilliams!!! #goat
The policing of women’s bodies must end. The “respect” that’s needed is for the exceptional talent ⁦@serenawilliams⁩ brings to the game. Criticizing what she wears to work is where the true disrespect lies.

Williams, always ahead of the game, says this wouldn't have even been an issue anytime soon because "when it comes to fashion, you don't want to be a repeat offender."