Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Richard Williams Is Racist, Plus a Great Haiku

Here is a link to Richard Williams' interview with India's Deccan Herald newspaper. Here is the first part of the big quote from this interview:
Tennis is a prejudice game. Well, I'm Black and I'm prejudiced, very prejudiced. I'll be always prejudiced as the White man. The White man hated me all my life and I hate him. That's no secret. I'm not even an American, it just so happens that I was born in America.
Richard's honesty is somewhat refreshing. He's prejudiced and fine with it. Richard imagines that the white man doesn't like him because the white man is prejudiced. Maybe the white man just doesn't like Richard Williams because Richard has other character flaws. It's like Hillary Clinton defenders who insist that anyone who doesn't like Hillary is a sexist pig. On the contrary, I think that many people dislike Hillary for her politics and who she is in general. Next up, Richard claims his girls are outsiders:
People are prejudiced in tennis. I don't think Venus or Serena was ever accepted by tennis. They never will be.
What does it mean to be "accepted by tennis," anyway? I wonder if the girls have ever accepted tennis? If they have any of their daddy's prejudice, I would imagine that it would be hard for them to accept the non-black culture of tennis.

Finally, he trashes a former young star and an icon of tennis.
... if you get some little White no good trasher in America like Tracy Austin or Chris Evert who cannot hit the ball, they will claim this is great.
Tracey became a star at too young an age and then burned out too quickly. Hers is a cautionary tale for any young star. On the other hand, Chris was a huge star. She is one of a very small number of women (along with Billie Jean King and Marina Navratilova) responsible for the popularity of tennis in the 70's and 80's. Without Chris, there would be no Venus or Serena. Trashing her was incredibly classless.

Do I think that the tennis culture is without racism? No. I'm sure there are racists in tennis. Unfortunately, one of the few black men to whom they are exposed is Richard Williams. If the only white man I knew were a racist jerk, I might have a pretty poor opinion of white people. Richard's attitude is a nice example of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The Greatest Haiku Ever
On a totally unrelated topic: I was listening to Mr. Tony's show this morning and heard the greatest haiku of all time. It was written by Murray Robb (a Mr. Tony listener from Ottowa):
Haikus are easy
But sometimes they don't make sense

Soundtrack: The Pretenders (The Singles), The Crystal Method (Community Service), Wes Montgomery (Ultimate Wes Montgomery)

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