Subscribe

login / sign up

close and back to page

Latest News

Latest News

Serena Williams' 'Wakanda' Catsuit Approved by Women's Tennis Association​

The WTA's new rule modifications also offer more protection to players on maternity leave.

TWITTER

Serena Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam champion, is considered the best player in the history of tennis. So, the unnecessary obstacles Williams has to face in her career are seemingly serving as teachable moments for the tennis world.


The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) announced this week several rule changes for 2019, including: "Leggings and mid-thigh-length compression shorts may be worn with or without a skirt, shorts, or dress." (Women have worn leggings on tour for a while now, typically, without incident.)

That means Williams' "Wakanda" catsuit is welcome.

Officials at this year's French Open banned her from wearing a full-body Nike catsuit — which was to prevent blood clots.

"I feel like a warrior in it, a warrior princess ... from Wakanda, maybe," she told reporters in May, referring to her catsuit and the film "Black Panther."

"I've always wanted to be a superhero, and it's kind of my way of being a superhero."

Another WTA rule change, after surveying opinions from players this year, is adding protected seeding for highly ranked players returning from maternity leave.

Williams' return to competitive tennis in March after having her daughter, Alexis Olympia, sparked a prolific debate around maternity leave.

Because she took time off, she lost all of the standing of her pre-baby career as No. 1 in the world. Williams was unseeded at tournaments, including the French Open. She could have entered the tournament under the WTA's "special ranking rule," but it was up to the event organizers to give her a seed.

A seeding allows tournaments to ensure the world's best players do not meet in the early stages of competitions and instead play lower-ranked players in the opening rounds.

"You shouldn't have to stop altogether just because you want to have a baby young," Williams, who turned 37 in September, told the New York Times.

"You don't want to be my age having your first baby, you know what I mean? So, I think as a woman you should have that choice to get pregnant and have a baby and still be able to have a career, just like in any other job."

Victoria Azarenka, another professional player who returned following childbirth, said there was a definite need in creating a balance between the returning player and those who had moved up into seeding positions.

"The conversation started because of Serena, you know, and all respect to her," she said in March. "If we look at her achievements and where she's come from, where I come from, it might be a fair choice that we do have a seeding in the tournaments after coming back."

The WTA rule modification states that players coming back from either childbirth, or injury, will now be able to use their previous ranking to enter 12 tournaments over a three-year period, instead of only eight.

It was Williams' hope that returning mothers would be seeded in line with that ranking. But the WTA said it would only guarantee they will not face a seeded player in a tournament's opening round.

Reader Question: Do you agree that the WTA should protect seeding for highly ranked players returning from maternity leave?

The Conversation (1)

Black Former NFL Player Defends His Daughter Against White Predator​

"I caught him at the apartment over there and we just had a good conversation," ex-NFL player Tony Beckham said.

Screenshot from WPLG ABC 10

Former NFL player for the Tennessee Titans and Detroit Lions, Tony Beckham, caught a white man fondling himself outside of his daughter's window at 6:40 a.m. Monday (she had just exited the shower to get dressed), and runs outside, tackles him, his wife calls the police, and the man is arrested.

Read More Show Less

Honorary Titles Revoked From DNA Pioneer James Watson Over Racist Views

Nobel Prize recipient, James Watson, still maintained debunked notions of Blacks and inferiority.

Dr. James Watson at the CSHL.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York State has revoked every title and honor given to 90-year-old DNA pioneer, James Watson.

Read More Show Less

Chief Meteorologist Fired After Using Racial Slur in Reference to MLK

Jeremy Kappell claims it was a mistake. "Unfortunately, I spoke a little too fast when I was referencing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.," he said.

During a Friday night broadcast, meteorologist Jeremy Kappell referred to a park in downtown Rochester, N.Y., named after slain civil rights hero Martin Luther King as "Martin Luther Coon Park."

Read More Show Less

Black Parents on Obama Cradling Their Newborn: 'The Most Pivotal Moment' of Our Lives

In the midst of separation and hate in the current administration, the 44th president shows that the people of this country are what presidents should stay connected to.

Twitter

A newborn baby started out her new year with an expected greeting from former President Barack Obama.

Read More Show Less

Muslim Youth Groups Clean Up National Parks Amid Government Shutdown

"Service to our nation and cleanliness are important parts of Islam," said Dr. Madeel Abdullah, president of The Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association.

Twitter @MKA_DC/ Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association

A group of teen boys and young Muslim men in multiple cities are cleaning up the nation's parks and memorials because Trump's government shutdown over his border wall has debilitated the National Park Service.

Read More Show Less

Tennessee Governor Grants Full Clemency to Cyntoia Brown

"Imposing a life sentence on a juvenile that would require her to serve at least 51 years before even being eligible for parole consideration is too harsh," said Gov. Bill Haslam.

Cyntoia Brown, a sex trafficking victim who was sentenced to life in prison for killing a man who picked her up for sex when she was 16 years old, was granted executive clemency by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam.

Read More Show Less