- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 8, 2001

I am going to take it one letter at a time today:

Dr. Frances Cress Welsing of the District writes: "Could the negative comments you made about Venus Williams and her family be the product of a white supremacy mind-set?"

Response: Or could the comments merely be the product of their actions, nothing more and less than that?

Lillian W. Andrews of Alexandria writes: "I read your diatribe on the Williams' family, and it was extremely mean-spirited. The Williams sisters stand alone and keep winning. You obviously begrudge them that. You make snide remarks about their relationship with their mother and father. Is your wife supremely happy with you?"

Response: It's funny you should mention the wife. How did you know? Is it that obvious? Have you two been talking? Darn. So you two agree I'm an idiot. Hear me whine. It goes with the sport.

Eileen Colbert via e-mail writes: "If Richard Williams is a village idiot, then you are the city cow who could take lessons from him. You should wage your personal wars on your time and not the public's."

Response: Moo.

Elizabeth I. of suburban Maryland writes: "I thought your article on the Williams' family was a howl. You have the courage to say what you think. I can't wait to see their clothing line."

Response: Not to change the subject or anything, but it's reassuring to learn that Monica Seles is back on top of her Lamaze game.

Ellen via e-mail writes: "Exactly how many complete games of the Kings have you watched the last three seasons? What I read from you does not accurately state Chris Webber's value to the Kings. It's too bad Chris no longer fits into your little box of memories. You should watch him and see how he has improved since he played here."

Response: Chris Webber has improved since he played in Washington, just not as much as his franchise-player contract indicates.

Andre Thomas of Waldorf writes: "After reading your story on CWebb, I couldn't help but respond. He made mistakes while he was here, but the biggest mistake was made by the Wizards in letting him go. You should let it go, too. Webber did not create the mess in Washington. Wes Unseld created the mess, and now Michael Jordan is trying to clean it up. Question: What is your salary, so we the people can decide if you are worth it?"

Response: I will be making a tad less than $122.7 million over the next seven years, which is Wes Unseld's fault.

Christopher Kassulke of Eagan, Minn., writes: "I love the Redskins, but the name must go. The name means 'bloody Indian scalps' from the days when killing Indians was legal. It is as racist and hateful as the n-word. Indians deserve the same respect. The 'Washington Indians' would be fine."

Response: According to Webster's College Dictionary, redskin is offensive, first used in a derogatory manner in the 17th century, long before American football came along.

Lizabeth A. Staursky of the District writes: "Your attempt at being an arts critic came across as sophomoric and snide. Bono was not named after the late Sonny Bono. This failed attempt at humor was incorrect. Bono got his nickname from the hearing-aid store Bono Vox on O'Connell Street in Dublin, which, in Latin, means 'good voice.' But, of course, the facts did not suit your purpose. I fail to understand how your rant against U2 was much interest to the sports-reading public."

Response: Chalk it up to a low brain-cell count day. Or blame Wes Unseld.

Wanda Oates of the District writes: "Instead of Patrick Ewing at center for the Wizards, how about Bill Walton? Additionally, I don't think Nikki and Chamique are a good combination for the Mystics. Anytime an ABL MVP, Olympic gold medalist and WNBA All-Star doesn't know her role, as is the case with Nikki, who does know?"

Response: Bill Walton talks a much better game than he ever played in the NBA from the injured list. As he might tell Nikki McCray and the rest of the Mystics, make a 3-pointer, please.

And finally, Maurice Marsolais of Fairfax writes: "The Supreme Court decision regarding Casey Martin is a rather 'curious compassion.' I had my heart set on playing power forward or center in the NBA. One problem, however, is that I'm only 5-9. I think an NBA team should sign me anyhow. Then I could petition the NBA to lower the basket about a foot and a half, so that I could dunk the way the big guys do. That doesn't seem like much to ask."

Response: Yours is obviously a valid legal point, one the Supreme Court probably would be willing to entertain. Good luck in your quest, and don't forget to blame Wes Unseld.

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