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GEORGIA'S GOVERNOR GRIFFIN IS ADVISED THAT POLITICIANS OUGHT TO STICK TO POLITICS
Georgia Tech goes to the Sugar Bowl as originally scheduled. The state's battle line of segregation is as clearly drawn as before. Nothing has been accomplished. I hate to think of what the average Georgian must look like to the average citizen of Spokane, Wash, or Duluth, Minn. or Montpelier, Vt. or even to those of Birmingham, Jacksonville and New Orleans. You can't escape being one of the mob, even if you think differently. All of us look the same to those people, for this unsightly mess is the work of the people we elected to office.
I like to feel that there is a certain democracy in sports that is found in no other field. This has been a blustering intrusion of that field by some politicians who chose to pitch their grubby battle on sports grounds.
Sports belong to everybody. Everyone has a leisure hour and it is his private property. In Governor Griffin's trying hour last week he and his son got away from it all on a hunting trip. This is sport. Birds aren't racially discriminating. They'll fall for a black man's shot as well as a white man's shot, if it hits the mark.
This intrusion took a swipe at everybody, for in some way or another everybody in the state will have his right to choose the kind of sport or pastime restricted. Certain unlegislated barriers between white and colored races will always exist. Common sense and social custom dictate these. In the field of team sports, however, there is no violation of these barriers.
To the contrary, sports have been a leader in establishing a better understanding between all races. There is no point here in bringing up the contributions of athletes like Jesse Owens, Fritz Pollard, Harrison Dillard, Joe Louis and even Jackie Robinson, contemptuous as he is at times, to our stature as the outstanding sports nation in the world. But they are part of the record, and we speak proudly of our superiority in the Olympic Games.
Despite assurances from Regents' Chairman Robert Arnold that Tech or Georgia could play "anywhere they are invited," there apparently were clauses in the board's ruling that might make it a big gamble for the Sugar, Gator or Orange Bowl to invite either team.
The Sugar Bowl, of course, fell a victim of circumstances. But never in the past has Georgia or Tech been required to get the governor's permission to play a football game. How is it, then, that President Van Leer should have called Governor Griffin and requested permission this time?
Georgia never asked permission to play St. Mary's, including John Henry Johnson, in 1950 or Pennsylvania, including Ed Bell and Bob Evans, in 1952. Nor did Tech ask permission to play Notre Dame, with Wayne Edmonds and Dick Washington, in 1953.
NO WOLVERINES IN ATHENS