'Offensive, ridiculous and unfair' - Oracene Williams mounts strong defence of her da - TennisForum.com
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 2002, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
Veelieve!!!
 
Infiniti2001's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 27,408
 
'Offensive, ridiculous and unfair' - Oracene Williams mounts strong defence of her da

Exclusive: Mother prepares for mission to spread the game in Africa
By Alex Hayes
07 July 2002
Internal links

Different parent, same outspoken views. With Richard Williams out of town this year, Oracene Williams has been the talk of the village. We are talking about Wimbledon Village, of course, a place where bright orange hair and funky clothes can hardly go unnoticed.

Not that Mrs Williams cares what anyone thinks of her. This weekend, she is far more concerned with the latest accusation, this time from the French player Amélie Mauresmo, that her two girls, Venus and Serena, somehow contrive their matches. "Firstly, I find that quite offensive," she says. "Secondly, I would like to know how you could predetermine the outcome of a meeting. It's not like the girls are betting on this or something. I find it ridiculous and really unfair when all they have done is gone out there and tried their hardest.

"It's a throwback to the master-slave mentality that they should go out on court and be really aggressive towards each other. They're sisters who care for each other and their reactions towards each other are only human."

She adds: "I think critics should think a bit more about what they are saying. Don't they realise how tough it is for two sisters to play against one another? I know that Serena is always the slightly hungrier one of the two because she is the youngest and wants to prove herself. I think that it's trickier for Venus. As the eldest, she wants to maintain her position, but she is also anxious not to hurt her little sister."

Williams is not only the devotedmother of the greatest sister act in the history of tennis, she is also extremely proud of her roots. Having accompanied her daughters on their joint quest for Wimbledon supremacy until yesterday's dénouement on Centre Court, the most recognisable tennis mom in the world is now preparing for a tour of Africa.

Following two weeks of coaching, coaxing, shopping, and divided loyalties, the woman they call Brandi is finally "going home to help my people". "I'm desperate to promote tennis over there and get kids involved," Williams explains. "The only African children who play tennis are the ones who go over to America to be at college. They are the few privileged ones and, by the time they get into the sport, they are usually too old to start a career. It would take a whole lot of determination and courage for an African kid to make it so late in life." It underlines her argument when you consider there were no black African competitors at the Championships this year.

Next week's visit to Africa is a two-pronged affair. On the one hand, Williams wants to "put Africa on the tennis map"; on the other, she hopes to "raise the profile of women in Africa". "It is ridiculous," she says, "that nothing is ever done in Africa. It's almost like people who have less aren't even considered. I can't speak for Britain, but this American administration, particularly in the current climate, does not do anything for Africa. The United States simply aren't interested."

Not so long ago, America were not interested in the Williams sisters either. "Africa is facing the same sort of barriers that we had to deal with," she says. "We were not from a rich neighbourhood, and we were never given anything."

The other part of the Williams plan is to empower African women. "That's almost the most important bit," she says. "In the few schemes that have been started in Africa, women are never the priority. Whether it be in education or the workplace, women are barely considered. That's why this programme is so close to my, and my girls', heart. It's time for change." Williams does not limit her views to Africa. She also feels that European women need to assert themselves more. "Women, particularly here in your country," she says with only a hint of a smile, "take too much of a back seat. There are so many chauvinistic attitudes here in England. Not just against women in every day life, but against sportswomen, too. And they seem to accept it. It's amazing that the girls on the Tour don't think they deserve more money. That's a shame, because to be perfectly honest, when I bump into people they tell me that men's tennis makes them turn off their TV. Women are the ones keeping tennis interesting at the moment and yet they are the ones being penalised for that."

Williams has always been keen to promote her African heritage. She has, by the same token, encouraged the girls to follow suit. "I want them to know who they are and what they are," she says. "That's why I wanted them to wear beads in their hair when they first started out on tour because I felt it was important they understand where they come from. They're African American and they should be proud of it."

The hope is that the success of the Williams siblings will raise the profile of tennis in Africa and, eventually, lead to a Women's Tennis Association tournament being held on the continent. "They've had Davis Cup ties there, but never a proper event," Williams says. "I think it would be wonderful to take the tennis family out there."

For now, the aim of this first African journey is to go to South Africa, Ghana and Senegal and lay the foundations for a possible visit by Venus and Serena later in the year. "I think the girls will go out there," she says, "and, like Muhammad Ali did when he went to Africa, help change people's lives. From what I see and hear, I think that there are quite a few people who feel better about themselves thanks to what Venus and Serena have achieved. Women tell me they have learnt to be more confident, and that's quite complimentary for the girls. It proves that anyone who is down-and-out can make it in life."

Mrs Williams, unlike her estranged husband, Richard, is not one for mingling with the crowds. Nor is she keen on losing any perspective when talking about the achievements of her two girls. "I think that everyone, including my daughters, needs to be fully aware, but not full, of themselves," she says. "Sometimes I feel like people make a whole hoohah over something which is only the girls' job. Playing tennis is what they do, and being the best just happens to be part of that.

"When I hear that there is a statue of the two girls in Washington, it makes us all wonder. We visited it last year, and Serena was speechless. I think she was amazed how a 20-year-old could be immortalised like this. She was proud, but my daughters are humble. If they lost that, they would soon begin to tumble." With a mother like Oracene, we could be waiting a long time.

Source: Independent

Infiniti2001 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 2002, 10:38 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: SS Dementieva
Posts: 5,077
                     
Oracene says things in such a nicer way than Richard.

She states her opinions respectfully. I genuinely like her, and the sisters are lucky to have a voice of reason surrounding them!

She was interviewed by Sue Barker here, and she was so relaxed. Her aim is to make sure her daughters are happy!

Once again, kudos Oracene and nice article

Elena Dementieva AFR
DEETHELICK is offline  
post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 2002, 10:42 PM
Senior Member
 
kazzmazz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 1,530
 
Thumbs up

I love this lady.
kazzmazz is offline  
post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 2002, 10:55 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 7,374
                     
She's all class!
GoSandrine is offline  
post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 2002, 11:59 PM
 
Lisbeth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Sydney
Posts: 1,432
                     
Good on you Oracene, it IS offensive. Good on them for wanting to do what they can in Africa too.

I don't quite understand what master-slave mentality has to do with wanting a good match between Venus and Serena or aggression, but I'm not American so I can't understand the depth of racial hatred which seems to exist in some quarters there.
Lisbeth is offline  
post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2002, 12:06 AM
Senior Member
 
moon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: usa
Posts: 4,117
                     
Thumbs up

Bravo Oracene!

Venus Williams-- My tennis inspiration
Roger Federer - GREATEST OF ALL TIME!!
moon is offline  
post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2002, 12:42 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 22,066
                     
Oracene=one of two best moms in business

Vassilissa is my girl............
tenn_ace is offline  
post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2002, 01:04 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: East Coast - USA
Posts: 711
                     
Speak on Miss Oracene... since so many seem to admire you maybe they will not only listen but act on what you have to say:

"....this programme is so close to my, and my girls', heart. It's time for change." Williams does not limit her views to Africa. She also feels that European women need to assert themselves more. "Women, particularly here in your country," she says with only a hint of a smile, "take too much of a back seat.."

Regarding her daughters:

"Firstly, I find that quite offensive," she says. "Secondly, I would like to know how you could predetermine the outcome of a meeting. It's not like the girls are betting on this or something. I find it ridiculous and really unfair when all they have done is gone out there and tried their hardest"


"I think critics should think a bit more about what they are saying. Don't they realise how tough it is for two sisters to play against one another? I know that Serena is always the slightly hungrier one of the two because she is the youngest and wants to prove herself. I think that it's trickier for Venus. As the eldest, she wants to maintain her position, but she is also anxious not to hurt her little sister."
Althea is offline  
post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2002, 01:33 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 75
                     
BRAVO ORACENE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NOW WE KNOW VENUS AND SERENA EDUCATION COME FROM!!!!!


ALEX STEVENSON SHOULD LISTEN TO HER INSTEAD OF HER PSYCHO MOM!
PHOENIX-2002 is offline  
post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2002, 01:58 AM
Tart with a Heart
 
JonBcn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 15,731
                     
Thanks for the article. How nice to read something so insightful and intelligent from a tennis parent.

~ gonna teach you tricks that'll blow your mongrel mind ~
JonBcn is offline  
post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2002, 02:57 AM
Registered 1
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: NY
Posts: 572
                     
Oracene RULES

My Venus and Serena World Web Page
http://hometown.aol.com/venusserenaworld
My Venus and Serena Message Board
http://network54.com/Hide/Forum/82188
Gumbycat is offline  
post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2002, 03:13 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 18,114
                     
I love that lady! She is so classy!
treufreund is offline  
post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2002, 03:19 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 1,324
                     
Sorry to say but the lady is talking bull****. What is her background to be talking on such a wide range of issues ?
To me this article is a good example of why Europeans have often disdain for American ignorance.

A few major errors

- She mixes up the UK with Europe. It is true that the position of women in the UK is rather weak but it is only as weak as it is in the US!! (for those who want figures please refer to Hofstedes commonly accepted work on cross-cultural values)
In Europe, especially The Netherlands and Scandinavia, women are on an equal scale with men, sometimes even pushing men to the background.
Obviously a minority complex towards the English upper society seems to be a recurring driver to pick on the UK and its citizens.

- she seems to forget the aspect 'culture'. US culture is not the same as African culture(=slight understatement)

A few examples:
US: individualistic, masculine, low power distance
Africa: collectivistic, less masculine (yes Miss Oracene), high power distance

Race has nothing to with this. Clearly some things get mixed up here.

So next time, please stick to tennis. I also think Africa needs other things than 'tennis' right now. Or is the final goal doing some tennis business there as well ? In the name of race ?
gopher is offline  
post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2002, 03:23 AM
Senior Member
 
Crazy Canuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Munchkin Land
Posts: 28,492
                     
Well I think it is clear where Venus and Serena got their brains from.

That sounds sarcastic, but it is indeed a compliment.
Crazy Canuck is offline  
post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2002, 03:25 AM
Senior Member
 
Crazy Canuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Munchkin Land
Posts: 28,492
                     
gopher - I understand where you are coming from (sort of) but the women seems to mean well, and care.

Which is more than can be said for a lot of people with resources (read :money).
Crazy Canuck is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the TennisForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Image Verification
Please enter the six letters or digits that appear in the image opposite.

Registration Image

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome