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Richard Williams sees no progress

July 08, 2007|Chuck Culpepper

WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND — With Venus Williams winning Wimbledon a half-century after Althea Gibson's 1957 title, Williams' father and coach, Richard Williams, said there had been no racial progress in those 50 years.

"It's no different then than it is now, in my opinion," he said. "If you're past 10 years old, you know what I'm talking about."

Having arrived in England four days before the start of Wimbledon, he said, and having watched and taped an abundance of television since, he reported seeing not one "black man or woman or child" on any TV advertisement.

Among other things, he brought up the 1998 murder of James Byrd, a black man who was dragged to his death behind a truck in Jasper, Texas. Three white men were convicted.

"What 50 years are you talking about?" he said.

-- Chuck Culpepper

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