SBD/15/Sports Society

RICHARD WILLIAMS CENSURES MEDIA ON COVERAGE OF VENUS

          Richard Williams was the "Guest Columnist" in Sunday's
     N.Y. DAILY NEWS.  Under the header, "Let Us Face It: Racism
     On Tour," Williams commented on player and media reaction to
     his daughter, Venus, during the recent U.S. Open.  Williams:
     "It's amazing how society turns a deaf ear whenever the
     subject of racism is brought up.  Unfortunately, it is an
     issue that is just as prevalent today as it was years ago.
     ... The media have spent so much time sensationalizing
     alleged locker room problems and the collision with [Irina]
     Spirlea that they have overlooked the real issues at hand. 
     Venus has brought something very new and exciting to tennis. 
     Venus sells tickets. ... Are the media selectively
     discriminating because of my daughter's athletic ability,
     skill or is it a race issue?  It would be a shame if I had
     to remove Venus from the WTA pro tour.  We are strongly
     considering it.  The WTA should carefully look into this
     matter. ... [A]ll this bull about her not speaking is
     foolish.  We don't speak now and we don't plan to speak in
     the future.  And nobody better not bump into my daughter
     again.  You can deal with anything you want to, but we won't
     deal with your prejudice acts" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/14).  




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