The work of Robert H. Boyle and associates should not go into limbo with the distribution of the December 11 issue of SI. This work should be available to all kinds of people, groups, committees, lawmakers, leaders, voters and nonvoters, young folks and old, those militantly and those passively interested in what the article says and stands for. Perhaps it is asking too much to have SPORTS ILLUSTRATED supply reprints in unlimited number, but I would at least hope they could be supplied at cost.
JAMES E. RAY
?Reprints are available.—ED.
Your article (A Step to an Olympic Boycott, Dec. 4) on Harry Edwards and his self-styled martyrs included some interesting statements from Edwards. He says, "We're not trying to lose the Olympics for the Americans. What happens to them is immaterial." Isn't he an American, too? He claims Negroes have been "utilized as performing animals for a little extra dog food." No one forces Negroes to enter athletics. No one utilizes Wilt Chamberlain. His "little extra dog food" checks out at around $250,000. Edwards' plan to keep Negroes from athletics leads any thinking person to believe he has interests other than the athletes' well-being in mind.
I am currently on active duty in Vietnam, and I have just finished reading the article concerning Negro athletes and their plans to boycott the Games. I think that they should boycott, because the injustice that they face is too much for them to take and still consider themselves Americans. I think this is one of the best ways to show the American people the way they feel about their treatment. Without them the U.S. will certainly lose, and this goes to show that we are a vital part of the society. It's a very disheartening feeling to think that you must earn your freedom in a free country.
I think it's time for the white society to stop trying to pick one individual to speak for the Negro race. They usually pick a modern-day Uncle Tom and tell the world that this is the Negro. This person is usually one Negro who has gotten ahead and thinks that he is home free because he is not losing in blood directly. The Negro of today feels that he owes his race something, and he works toward that goal. What really makes the problem stand out is that the same practices go on over here, also. The Negro gets the worst and most dangerous jobs here.
We have been under attack for the last three days, and I had a break so I dropped this letter to let you know how I felt.
NAME AND SERIAL NO. WITHHELD