Cecil Harris: Would ‘King Richard’ have done the same thing Will Smith did to defend his family?
Our next guest is Cecil Harris, a sports journalist who has covered major tennis events including the US Open and the Women’s Tennis Association Championships in New York. He has written for the NY Times, the Associated Press, and USA Today. He is the author of several books, including “Charging the Net: A History of Blacks in Tennis from Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe to the Williams Sisters” and “Different Strokes: Serena, Venus, and the Unfinished Black Tennis Revolution”. In Will Smith’s Oscars acceptance speech for Best Actor in a Leading Role, a tearful Smith, 53, referenced Richard Williams, calling him “a fierce defender of his family. “Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams,” Smith said. “But love will make you do crazy things.” I wondered if this was really true.
In episode 227 of the Fraternity Foodie Podcast, I ask Cecil Harris about the Will Smith slap of Chris Rock and whether “King Richard’ Williams would have done the same thing to defend his family. We find out why Cecil chose Fordham University, how Venus and Serena Williams revolutionized tennis and inspired generations of female tennis players, why top black players still underrepresented in the world of tennis, details on the under-reported scandal of why no African American umpire has officiated a US Open men’s or women’s final since 1993, how we can remove the elitist attitude that sometime persists in the tennis community, whether Simone Biles made the right move with her mental health considering she knew the pressures of being an Olympic Athlete, why that story went viral but we heard much less about Osaka’s withdrawal from the French Open, whether there is a generational divide when we talk about athletes and their mental health, why the Yankees so dominant in the late 90’s but have struggled to get back to that spot in the 21st century, the professional struggles that have characterized the entry of African-American hockey players into the mostly white sport, and Cecil’s favorite restaurants in Yonkers.