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Serena Williams' Husband Defends Her Against Body Shaming Comment

Alexis Ohanian shot back at a former pro for "racist/sexist" criticism.

Serena Williams, winner of 23 Grand Slam titles, is no stranger to personal attacks. Throughout her career, the tennis player has dealt with racist and misogynistic comments, even from others in her sport. One of her staunchest defenders is her husband, who has spoken out several times regarding the treatment Williams has received over the years. And just this week, Alexis Ohanian responded to another instance of body shaming aimed at Serena Williams, this one coming from the owner of a professional tennis tournament. Keep reading to find out what angered Ohanian and what the Reddit cofounder had to say about the insult. And for more on Ohanian and Williams, check out Here's a Rare Photo of Serena Williams' Adorable Family of Three.

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In late December, the owner of the Madrid Open made some incendiary comments about Williams.

Ion Tiriac

Ion Tiriac—who is the 81-year-old owner of the Madrid Open, president of the Romanian Tennis Federation, and a former pro himself—gave an interview on Romanian television last week in which he explained why he thinks Williams should walk away from the sport.

"At this age and the weight she is now, she does not move as easily as she did 15 years ago," Tiriac said, according to UBITENNIS. "Serena was a sensational player. If she had a little decency, she would retire! From all points of view."

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Ohanian clapped back in a Twitter reply.

Alexis Ohanian tweet

Journalist José Morgado tweeted a link to the UBITENNIS article on Jan. 3 with the comment, "Safe to say Serena will never play Madrid again…"

Ohanian replied saying, "Safe to say no one gives a d*** what Ion Țiriac thinks."

A day later, he added to the same thread, "Had to Google it… turns out my 3 year old has more Grand Slam victories than this," along with two clown face emojis and a screenshot of the Google results for Tiriac's Grand Slam titles: zero.

And for another recent celebrity clap back, check out Candace Cameron Bure Claps Back at "Rude" Replies to Her Family Photo.

Then he targeted Tiriac in a not-so-subtle subtweet.

Alexis Ohanian at the US Open
lev radin/Shutterstock

In another Jan. 4 tweet, though he didn't name Tiriac, Ohanian didn't mince words in characterizing his comments about Williams.

"2021 and no holding back when a racist/sexist clown with a platform comes for my family," Ohanian wrote.

And for stars who faced consequences for controversial comments, here are 6 Celebrities Who Were Fired After Being Accused of Racism.

But this is far from the first time Ohanian has condemned his wife's critics.

Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian 2018
lev radi/Shutterstock

In 2018, Ohanian addressed a cartoon of Williams that appeared on the front page of Australia's Herald Sun. The illustration depicted the player jumping up and down and screaming in anger and, as Business Insider put it, gave her "grossly exaggerated features like oversized lips, a big nose, and wiry hair." In his tweet, Ohanian called the image "blatantly racist & misogynistic."

That same year, he acknowledged a tweet, which has since been deleted, comparing the response to Williams' impassioned actions on the court to the response to Justice Brett Kavanaugh's emotional reaction to questioning about sexual misconduct accusations during his confirmation hearings. As HuffPost reported, Alabama politician Deborah Barros tweeted that it was "funny how a black female tennis player is held to a higher standard to keep her emotions in check than a Supreme Court nominee." Ohanian retweeted her, adding "It's not funny, it's bulls***."

For films that have come under fire, check out 11 Classic '90s Movies That Have Been Called Out for Racism.

Sage Young
Sage Young is the Deputy Entertainment Editor at Best Life, expanding and honing our coverage in this vertical by managing a team of industry-obsessed writers. Read more
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