In his column on Michael Jordan (AIR AND SPACE, Nov. 7), Jack McCallum evokes the old Nike commercial with the tagline "It's gotta be the shoes" and writes, "Eventually, it's gotta be about more than that." Why? Why do writers require that highly successful and famous Americans, especially nonwhite Americans, give more than they've already delivered? Jordan owes us nothing. How he chooses to use his fame is his business.
Mike Fanning, Pittsburgh
Your article Ground Breakers (Nov. 7) mentions how in 1951 a player from Oklahoma A&M broke the jaw of Drake running back Johnny Bright, an example of the gratuitous punishment meted out to young black men who dared to play college sports in that era. Photographers John Robinson and Don Ultang of the Des Moines Register received the Pulitzer Prize for their frame-by-frame documentation of the attack. LIFE magazine picked up these photos, and the incident received worldwide exposure. But there is a "bright" side to the story. Although drafted in the first round by the Philadelphia Eagles, Johnny Bright chose to come to Canada instead and played in the Canadian Football League for 13 seasons. He remained in the country, raised a family and taught in the Edmonton school system. Revered for his athletic prowess, he was also highly regarded for his work with youth. He received many accolades, not the least of which was admission to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame before his death, in December 1983.
Kenneth B. Jacobs, Ottawa