- PEOPLEAugust 23, 1965
- LEADING OFFBroken EnglishJuly 05, 2010
- LettersYour story on Buck Showalter had two photos that show why he is the perfect man to revive the Orioles. In one he is on the mound instructing...April 18, 2011
A Precisely. And that is a phase of it that should be underlined.
Q It would seem, then, that you're looking at this oath strictly from the point of view of the Olympic or AAU official but not from the point of view of the athlete.
A What other point of view can you have? The Olympic Games are for amateurs. Each national federation governing each sport all over the world has an amateur rule. It is quite generally agreed that the minute a man decides he is going to become a professional he is a professional. Isn't that logical?
Q Not entirely.
A Look, the amateur is one who participates and always has for the pure pleasure of the sport. Once a person decides he is going to become a professional he is not participating purely for pleasure. It seems to me that it is Q.E.D. that he is no longer an amateur. His main objective is to be a successful professional.
Q Mr. Brundage, do you consider professional sport dishonorable?
A (snorting) Of course not! That's nonsense. Professional sport is just as honorable a pursuit as banking or the law, and most of it is pretty well policed now.
Q Good. Now, let us suppose for argument that Mickey Mantle is a sprint champion in school. Let's suppose he is able to run the 100 meters in 10.1 and has made the Olympic team. He is the fastest man in the country, and you agree he is entitled to be on that team. But let's suppose Mickey Mantle has taken a canvass of his potentialities and decided for one reason or another he could not become a doctor or a lawyer or even a plumber. But he can become a professional baseball player. Being sprint champion isn't going to help him make the New York Yankees. He has to succeed on merit the same as he would if he tried to get through medical school. Why should he either a) be deprived of his rightful place on the Olympic team or b) be denied the right to choose the profession for which he is best suited?
A (thoughtfully) I can read you the rule which says a professional in one sport is a professional in all sports. That's been in the rule books for years.
Q But do the other countries which have no comparable situations realize that professional baseball is a career and a highly rewarding one and that in the hypothetical case we have raised you are depriving the athlete of some fundamental rights? If you agree that baseball as a career equates with law or banking, why not forbid a boy from entering law or banking?