SBD/1/Sports Industrialists

DOING IT HER WAY: VENUS WILLIAMS FEATURED ON "60 MINUTES"

          VENUS WILLIAMS and her father, RICHARD WILLIAMS, were
     featured by CBS's MORLEY SAFER on "60 Minutes."  Safer
     called Venus "a godsend to a sport that has suffered
     declining interest in recent years.  He debut at the U.S.
     Open was breathtaking -- speed, brute force and grace.  And
     the bleachers ate it up. ... [A] star was born.  An attitude
     one part Tiger Woods, three parts Muhammad Ali."  Venus: "I
     am the best.  Why shouldn't I believe that?  And what's
     wrong with me thinking that I'm the best player out there?"
          RACISM? Safer: "Your dad said that there is a lot of
     racism is tennis.  Do you agree with that statement?" 
     Williams: "I'm not political."  Safer: "No, but you have
     feelings."  Williams: "Yes."  Safer: "And what do your
     feelings tell you?"  Williams, pausing: "I'd really rather
     not talk about that because when I go out there, I just go
     out there to play tennis."  Safer: "But, a lot of African
     American athletes whom I've known over the years, are forced
     to feel that they're playing for more than their own
     victory, that they're playing for their people.  Do you ever
     feel that?"  Williams: "No.  Maybe if I got older.  When I
     go out there, I'm playing for me.  Me and my family."
          ON DAD: Safer, on Richard Williams: "He is a cunning
     maverick, promotional genius, control freak and loving
     father."  Richard, on his critics in the tennis
     establishment: "Anyone that's a professional tennis player
     or anyone that has anything to do with professional tennis,
     I don't think very much of them in no way.  So I could care
     less what these experts think because these experts are
     worse than the girls that play.  They're interested only in
     money.  I'm interested in my daughter."  Conde Nast Sports
     For Women Senior Contributing Writer SALLY JENKINS:
     "Observers like me have thought he was a little goofy, but
     it looks as though Richard has taken all of the advantages
     from the tennis world and none of the disadvantages." 
          VENUS: Safer, on Venus: "She is unfailingly polite, has
     a sunny personality and a head full of nearly 2,000 beads.
     ... Those beads have become a fashion statement in inner
     city communities where Venus goes to tell kids they too can
     succeed."  Safer's conclusion: "There are those who feel
     that the complexion of this game will soon change radically. 
     The Williams sisters [Venus and younger sister Serena] and
     certainly their father have already upset a whole lot of
     people in the lily white world of tennis by not so much
     bucking the system as ignoring it with matchless self
     confidence" ("60 Minutes," CBS, 11/30).  

Return to top

Related Topics:

CBS, People and Pop Culture, Viacom

Video Powered By - Castfire CMS Powered By - Sitecore

Report a Bug