Remembering Jackie’s big brother, Olympian Mack Robinson

Mack Robinson

Mack Robinson

As this year’s Olympic Games commence in London, I couldn’t help but remember learning about an Olympic sprinter from the 1930s named Mack Robinson.

In today’s world of multi-million dollar contracts, appearance fees, and endorsements, it’s easy to forget what many world-class athletes had to endure, even at the peak of their careers, not so very long ago.  Where today’s Olympic track & field stars can become mega-celebrities like Bruce Jenner or Carl Lewis, for an African-American track star in the 1930s, there were no riches or lasting fame.

According to Matthew “Mack” Robinson, running came “naturally.” From 1936 through 1938, few people in the entire world could run faster or jump farther.  One of the greatest track and field athletes of his time, Robinson’s accomplishments have been somewhat obscured by those of Jesse Owens and Mack’s own younger brother, baseball legend Jackie Robinson. Continue reading

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In the wake of Penn State…one month later

From Penn State to Syracuse to the AAU, accusations of sexual abuse of minors by authority figures in organized sport have been flying in recent weeks. While I’m glad the initial charges against Jerry Sandusky have evidently given other alleged victims the strength to speak out about their own incidents of abuse, and that the veracity of these claims is being investigated formally in every instance, I continue to be mortified by the very thought that these coaches, teachers, and mentors to young people could have perpetrated such heinous crimes, and allegedly over years if not decades of time.

Here’s hoping the victims and families affected by these scandals see justice done, and that from all of these nightmares come reforms in how college and amateur sports are supervised so that more children aren’t subjected to the horrors alleged in the Sandusky/Penn State and Fine/Syracuse cases, and that other closet abusers will be brought out into the light as is now happening with the former head of the AAU.

There should never be a statute of limitations on child rape. There’s certainly no limit to the damage it causes to the child.