IN THE FACE OF PREJUDICE
Thank you for William Leggett's outstanding article (A Tortured Road to 715, May 28) on an outstanding athlete, Henry Aaron. As a longtime fan of his, I am sad to hear of the trouble Henry is having. To dislike a man is human; to hate him and wish him evil is not.
To me, Aaron is tops in every aspect of life, and when he retires he will be recognized as the most durable and consistent all-round player the sport has ever known. A look at the records will verify that. I wish him luck in everything he does.
When will people ever learn that dignity, character, courage and integrity know no color line? Henry Aaron is a brilliant athlete and certainly one of the finest men ever to play baseball. He is a credit to the sport, to himself and to all of us.
Fair Haven, N.J.
ANOTHER KIND OF BIGOTRY
Congratulations! It is about time somebody told the real story of women athletes (Sport Is Unfair to Women, May 28). If people would watch girls' athletics with an open mind they would be truly surprised at the quality and excitement involved in our sports. Bil Gilbert and Nancy Williamson did a fantastic job on the first article of this series. They should receive a special award for printing "the truth and nothing but the truth." Keep up the good work and maybe women athletes will get an even shake in the world of sports.
Many thanks for your initial article on the plight of the female athlete. I anticipate the two subsequent articles with a grim sort of pleasure. While at college (I was graduated this spring), I had the honor of playing on lacrosse teams with two All-Americas, both women. One is a double All-America—in field hockey and lacrosse—and the only person at the university to have this double distinction. She did get a write-up in the alumni magazine, but otherwise the university ignores her. She receives none of the benefits that her male counterparts enjoy as a matter of course.
Thank goodness you set me straight on women's athletics. Before I read the article I had no idea how much women were being discriminated against in sports. As I began reading I thought the author was just another Women's Lib complainer trying to prove something. By the time I was finished I realized that something must be done to awaken more of the American people to these facts. I sincerely hope you will continue to publish articles that bring to the surface such unfair prejudices.
I am ashamed. As soon as I finished reading Part I of the series I decided that I would immediately do the following things:
First, instead of discouraging my daughter of nine years, I would encourage her uninhibited desire to participate in sports; second, I would help her in any way possible to improve her athletic skills; and third, I would stop ridiculing her ability as that fiercely competitive yet unsynchronized soul desperately tries to achieve her rightful degree of athletic success.
As I think back, I do not recall ever discouraging my daughter's older brother from taking an active part in athletics. Thank you for the eye-opener.
PAUL B. GREIN
Bay City, Mich.
Despite the absurdity of most of the prejudices against women athletes, I find it difficult to be very concerned about the "raw deal" women get in sports. They are no worse off than 99% of the men who also get no scholarships, cannot use the gym when "the team" is practicing, and whose lack of physical strength, speed of reflexes, etc., is also a mere accident of birth.