Long before Venus and Serena Williams came to be the women dominating tennis that we know today, they were teens dominating tennis. Both girl attended the the tennis academy of Rick Macci, a United States Professional Tennis Association Master Professional, who coached them in Florida. Though they had lots of professional help their biggest coach was, in a way, their father Richard Williams. It was their dad who had them slow down a bit in their pre-teen years so they could focus on school work. He also guarded them fiercely when they were in the public eye.
That protectiveness can be seen in this famous clip where Rich Williams interrupts an interviewer who is talking to a 14-year-old Venus. The interviewer, ABC News Day One correspondent John McKenzie, asks her about an upcoming match and in her response, Venus is confident that she will win. He, a grown man, looks at her skeptically and asks why she’s so confident, as though she shouldn’t be. This is about as much as Richard Williams can take.
This video of Richard Williams defending Venus’s confidence when she was 14 yr old is the best video on the internet pic.twitter.com/NqnCRJsLLf
— Disco Ric (@RicWilson) August 29, 2018
He gets up and says, “You’ve got to understand that you’re dealing with the image of a 14-year-old child. And this child gonna be out there playing when your old ass and me gonna be in the grave. When she say something, we done told you what’s happening. You’re dealing with a little black kid, and let her be a kid. She done answered it with a lot of confidence, leave that alone.”
The video has been shared a lot because it illustrates so much: the way people pick at the confidence of girls, especially black girls, the arrogance of some adults, and the amazing way a dad can come to their own kid’s defense. It’s gone viral again after being shared by musician Ric Wilson. People just love the way it feels to see Rich stand up for Venus, especially because she has such a relatable reaction to it:
Me when my parents back me up 😂 pic.twitter.com/uSWdfA61Vr
— rosechocglam (@rosechocglam) August 29, 2018
Lmao right! She was like pic.twitter.com/vmgoVHlXg6
— Jasmine 🌈💎 (@JustJazz94) August 29, 2018
Venus like: pic.twitter.com/LS4Zzuz96T
— 🤸🏾♀️ Kenzie 🤸🏾♀️ (@_CiaraLin) August 29, 2018
Pops gonna handle this. I’m straight. pic.twitter.com/uvoym9cjpi
— Chris Williamson (@CWilliamsonTV9) August 29, 2018
Nothing like a good dad to remind you of what kind of parent you’d like to be.