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19TH HOLE: THE READERS TAKE OVER
July 03, 1967
ALI Sirs:Congratulations on Bill Russell's description of the recent summit meeting between Negro athletes and Muhammad Ali ("I Am Not Worried About Ali," June 19). It is unfortunate that you did not allow Russell's piece to appear without the preceding disclaimer in SCORECARD. There is indeed a difference between Protestants, Catholics and Black Muslims. But as far as I know, Muhammad Ali has never lowered himself to the level of some of the good Baptists of Birmingham or some of the good Catholics of Cicero, Ill. The point that needs to be made—and the point that Russell was making—is that there is a growing tendency in this country to judge people by their associations, rather than by their personal conduct. If the latter criterion is used, Muhammad Ali must certainly be accorded more respect than many, many Americans, Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
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July 03, 1967

19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

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CAUSES

TREATMENT

Poor equipment

Sell better equipment

Strings too tight

Loosen strings

Strings too loose

Tighten strings

Small grip

Enlarge grip

Large grip

Reduce grip

Light racket

Heavier racket

Heavy racket

Lighter racket

Unnatural motion

Sell series of lessons

Nylon strings

Gut strings

Gut strings

Nylon strings

ALI
Sirs:
Congratulations on Bill Russell's description of the recent summit meeting between Negro athletes and Muhammad Ali ("I Am Not Worried About Ali," June 19). It is unfortunate that you did not allow Russell's piece to appear without the preceding disclaimer in SCORECARD. There is indeed a difference between Protestants, Catholics and Black Muslims. But as far as I know, Muhammad Ali has never lowered himself to the level of some of the good Baptists of Birmingham or some of the good Catholics of Cicero, Ill. The point that needs to be made—and the point that Russell was making—is that there is a growing tendency in this country to judge people by their associations, rather than by their personal conduct. If the latter criterion is used, Muhammad Ali must certainly be accorded more respect than many, many Americans, Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

Moreover, SCORECARD'S implication that Ali's "victimization" is wholly due to his association with the Muslims is naive at best. If this were the case, why did the enlightened WBA wait until the "refusal to serve" issue arose before stripping Ali of his title? The war is indeed everywhere.
FREDERICK D. KEMP
Dallas

Sirs:
This man is a minister? This man loves his fellowman so much that he cannot take up arms against the enemies of his country? "He has an absolute and sincere faith," says Bill Russell.

He tortured Ernie Terrell because Terrell would not call him Muhammad Ali. Knowing that Patterson had a back injury and that he could have knocked Patterson out in the first or second round, he took deliberate pleasure in carrying his pain-racked opponent to the 12th round just because that foe had expressed disagreement with his so-called religious views.

This man who owes all that he is to the guidance of a group of white men, upon arriving at the peak of his profession, sneeringly turned them aside.

In the only country in the world in which he, a Negro boy born in poverty, can become a millionaire, we find him unwilling to serve that country.
HUME SEYMOUR
Newport Beach, Calif.

Sirs:
I respect Bill Russell, but I feel that in this case he can't see the forest for the trees. There is a broader scope to this issue—more than just a man's own beliefs. It involves honor to country and belief in the country where one lives. Ali's theory would appear to be "serve thyself" and Black Muslims, but not my country—not even in nonviolent ways by driving a truck, special services, etc. As a superathlete he could have had a choice of how he wanted to serve—and this is not the privilege of most.
D. LAWS
Penfield, N.Y.

Sirs:
As the father of a son who served in Thailand, another son who was recently commissioned a lieutenant in the U.S. Army, another who is in Officer's Candidate School and a fourth son who expects to enlist in September, I must protest any individual's attempts—regardless of color, creed or athletic accomplishments—to avoid military service by subterfuge.

Cassius Clay was originally exempted from military service because he failed Army intelligence examinations; i.e., he was supposedly mentally substandard. He did not claim, then, to be a Muslim minister.

Bill Russell now says, "One of the great misconceptions about Ali is that he is dumb and has fallen into the wrong hands and does not know what he is doing. On the contrary, he has one of the quickest minds I have ever known." I respect Bill Russell's appraisal.
JOHN L. BRITO
Brownsville, Texas

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