THE FIGHT THAT FAILED
It may be all over by the time you read this, but that confusing affair known as the NFL Players' Strike merits attention for several reasons. Perhaps the record—if there is one—could be printed up in pamphlet form as a guide on how not to negotiate contracts. Last weekend's developments found both parties relatively content except for one final point: the owners' 1970 payments into the pension fund. Over that issue the players threatened to stay away from preseason training camp. This is known as a strike. The owners, in retaliation, said never mind, because they were going to close the camps anyway. This is known as a lockout.
Even the attorneys for both sides were having trouble following the action, especially since some of them seemed to be rookies at the game, too. Finally, Football Commissioner Pete Rozelle, who had been suited up for weeks hoping that somebody would ask, was called in as conciliation quarterback.
There is one obvious change to be made before it all breaks out again next year—and break out it certainly will: more responsible, knowledgeable negotiations. If the players are going to organize, they should get expert help. Sandlot labor relations are no better than sandlot football. As for the owners, there is no excuse for them to behave like public-be-damned union busters.
The U.S. has been through all of this before. There are hundreds of precedents for peaceful, orderly settlements of such matters. Why try to blaze a new trail through 1968, especially if it looks like a 1910 design?
NO SHORT SCHOLARS
In the light of our continuing concern with the exploitation of Negroes—Part 3 of our Black Athlete series starts on page 28—it seems pertinent to consider Creighton University in Omaha. It recently set up a new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Scholarship for underprivileged Negroes and began looking for the first worthy recipient.
Apparently there were no needy Negroes in the vicinity, so the grant went to Cyril Baptiste of faraway Miami, who, somehow, seemed just right. Cyril wanted to go to college, but his high school grades weren't good enough to qualify him for the usual grant-in-aid. And several other people wanted Cyril to go to college, too: but they didn't think of this special scholarship thing as quickly as Creighton did. Cyril, by the way, is almost 7 feet tall and plays basketball like crazy.
With Mexico City next up, it may seem a bit soon to be thinking about Munich, which will be host to the 1972 Summer Games. Still, you will be pleased to know that things are under way already: German technicians and engineers have been carefully going over the 740-acre Olympic site. So far they have found two unexploded 1,000-pound bombs, two unexploded 500-pound bombs, 1,000 pounds of unexploded incendiary and small-detonation bombs of varying sizes, 750 pounds of various shells and five napalm bomb containers.