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THE BLACK MUSLIM HOPE
The hysteria that has seized prizefighting since Cassius Clay came on the scene, shaking the sport's fans between laughter and tears, has reached a critical stage. Clay now acknowledges what he would not admit before he won the heavyweight championship—that he is a member of the Black Muslim cult, a twisted form of Islam that advocates racial separatism. He has abandoned the richly sonorous "Cassius Marcellus" that his parents christened him and signs his autographs " Cassius X Clay," because that is an approximation of Muslim practice. And in a few weeks, inspired by his just-retired Muslim mentor, Malcolm X, who lost face when he applauded the assassination of President Kennedy and had been using Clay in an effort to regain it, he will set forth on what can only be an ill-will tour of Africa and Asia. He may even make a pilgrimage to Mecca.
This tragicomic nonsense has been topped by Floyd Patterson's ill-considered (and rejected) offer to fight Clay for nothing in order to "take the title from the Black Muslim leadership." In its recent history boxing has been refreshingly free of racial prejudice. Gate receipts in theaters around the country seem to have hit a new high when Clay fought Sonny Liston, a pretty fair indication that prizefighting's fans are not too concerned that since Rocky Marciano retired Negroes have dominated the title. Clay's religion, if that is the word for it, is not an issue in the ring and, like his race, never should be.
SWEAT OF THE BROW, INDEED!
If the men of the Internal Revenue Service think, as they say, that a man who tries to pick four winners in four races has not been sweating, they might try it some time. With the arbitrariness that distinguishes tax men from other forms of life, the IRS people have decided that Danny Tuazan and Juan Lopez, the $10-a-day short-order cooks who won the twin double at Gulfstream Park recently, did not earn their $84,114.20 by "the sweat of their brow," and therefore cannot spread their income over several years.
Under the new tax law, athletes, artists, farmers, fishermen, lawyers, small businessmen and others who make it big one year may regard their bonanzas as earned over a period of years, but not horse-players, who rarely make it big any year. Double players, unite and lobby. You have nothing to lose.
Last season he won only two games, to be sure, and lost four, but he did have a respectable earned-run average of 2.16. He stands 6 feet 6 inches and he weighs 195 pounds, which is all to the good, too. What has sold us on Roggenburk, though, is that the statistics-packed book says he will not celebrate his 4th birthday until April 16.
FOR BARGAIN HUNTERS