MODEL IN CLAY
As a faithful reader, I have enjoyed very much your coverage of Cassius Clay during his colorful career. I was, therefore, very pleased to see the beginning of A Case of Conscience, April 11 et seq., Jack Olsen's new series.
O.K., the point has been made: Clay has a conscience. But why waste valuable space in five issues to give publicity to his venomous and bigoted philosophy?
R. J. PREUSS
Five words would suffice: An unpatriotic, arrogant, mediocre screamer.
LOUIS B. MINTER
Beverly Hills, Calif.
If I never read anything else, Jack Olsen's opening article on Clay is worth the price of my subscription. However, I am really concerned as to whether or not we are doing right by the boy.
If we love sports, as I assume we do, and if we are concerned about our athletes, which we should be, are we not shortchanging Clay? While I abhor the statements Clay has made concerning his country, his loyalty and what patriotism means to him as a Muslim, I cannot but recall other champions who, if not out and out Bad Guys, were at least hypocrites of the first order. Clay is not what many would have us believe he is. To begin with, he appears far too naive to reel off those profound statements concerning U.S. policy without considerable offstage coaching. This leads me to believe that the wrong people have appropriated the Clay ear. What is now needed is someone of the stature of Martin Luther King to talk to Clay. If we wash our hands of this young man we are not serving the sport, the athlete or the country.
As a white I admit unashamedly that I have been rooting for a white hope to come along and take the championship, but as an American and a lover of sports I take keen exception to the way Cassius Clay has been handled since he became champion.
THOMAS C. GORDON
I am sure the boys in Vietnam can hardly wait for the following installments.
It is 11:35 p.m., and I am watching Johnny Carson's Tonight Show on TV. Johnny's guest is Cassius Clay, world heavyweight champion (excluding WBA).
As I watch the champion discuss his previous fights, I see not the loudmouthed, unpatriotic young man who would rather brag and put down his opponent, but a quiet, well-mannered young man who paid his opponents more compliments than himself.
I do not like Jack Olsen.