The Facts, Please

January 25, 1993

In his otherwise commendable efforts to combat racial imbalances
in sports hiring, Jesse Jackson has in recent days misspoken in
calling for baseball's owners to offer the commissioner's job to
National League president Bill White (White made clear months ago
that he wasn't interested in the position); in questioning why Hall
of Famer Joe Morgan hadn't been offered a manager's or general
manager's job (he had been offered, and had turned down, both); and
in accusing the major league players' association of remaining silent
about Cincinnati Red owner Marge Schott's racist utterances (the
association's executive director, Donald Fehr, had publicly assailed
Schott).
This isn't the first time Jackson has tripped on his own rhetoric
in the sports arena. In a speech in 1983 he said that ''white boys
are inferior athletes to blacks'' and charged that the NCAA's
then-new Proposition 48 was intended to reduce the number of blacks
in major college sports. Under heavy criticism, he backed off from
those remarks.
Jackson's cause is a worthy one. He can best help it -- and his
own credibility -- by getting his facts straight.

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