Richard Williams, the father and former coach of tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams, has revealed some shocking details about his life and his family’s journey in a new documentary. The film, titled “On the Line: The Richard Williams Story”, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival last year and is set to be released to the public soon.
The documentary features unaired interviews with Richard Williams, spanning from the 1980s to the present day. He narrates his own story, from his childhood in Shreveport, Louisiana, where he faced poverty, racism, and violence, to his move to Compton, California, where he taught his daughters how to play tennis on public courts.
“I thought I could live off my kids and I thought I could make a million dollars. I was born in Shreveport, Louisiana in a neighborhood called Cedar Grove. All my life I had to be brave, but by now I should have been dead. I have to move on. If Venus and Serena would make a million dollars? There’s no question about it. They will make 1 million looks small!” – Richard Williams
The film also shows how Richard Williams defied the odds and the norms of the tennis world, which was dominated by white and affluent players. He had a vision for his daughters to become champions, and he did not let anyone or anything stop him from pursuing it. He faced criticism, ridicule, and even threats for his unconventional methods and outspoken personality.
“He was a visionary father and coach who broke down class and privilege barriers in a predominantly white and affluent sport.” – Stuart McClave, director of “On the Line”
The documentary also explores the challenges and achievements of Venus and Serena Williams, who rose to become two of the greatest tennis players of all time. They have won a combined 30 Grand Slam singles titles, 14 Grand Slam doubles titles, four Olympic gold medals each, and numerous other accolades. They have also used their platform to advocate for social justice, gender equality, and racial equity.
“Juneteenth has never been a celebration of victory or an acceptance of the way things are. It’s a celebration of progress. It’s an affirmation that despite the most painful parts of our history, change is possible—and there is still so much work to do.” – Serena Williams
“On the Line: The Richard Williams Story” is a captivating and inspiring film that showcases the strength and determination of Richard Williams and his daughters. It is a testament to the power of family, faith, and vision. It is a story that deserves to be told and seen by everyone.