Tuesday, July 24, 2007

SOME THINGS NEVER CHANGE

In a year where we've celebrated Jackie Robinson and Hank Aaron (though C&F wishes that were under better circumstances), it's hard to deal with the fact that racism and sports still mix.

You'll remember Ian Johnson. You'll remember his part in the dramatic Boise State triumph over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. You'll remember his proposal to fiance Chrissy Popadics. You'll remember how everyone was thrilled when she said yes.

Well, almost everyone.

BOISE (AP) — A Boise State University running back who scored the winning points in the Fiesta Bowl, then proposed to his cheerleader girlfriend on national television, has hired security for his weekend wedding because of racial threats, a newspaper reported Tuesday.
Ian Johnson, who is black, and his fiance, Chrissy Popadics, who is white, are due to be married Saturday in Boise. ...
"You take it for what it is — the less educated, the less willing to change," Johnson told the Statesman. "But we're not acting like we're naive to all the stuff that's going on. We know what's been said. We're going to make sure we're safe at all times. It's an amazing day for us, and we'd hate to have it ruined by someone."
He didn't describe the threats — or the heightened security measures the couple have planned — in detail.
"It's unfortunate that it involves a certain protocol being followed to ensure that nothing happens," Johnson said. "It's really sad because a lot of people that are probably doing it are the same people who were cheering me on."

Sad. Just sad.


You hate this? Racism is just one of your problems.

In some ways, Johnson's reaction shows he's worthy to be put near the names C&F wrote of at the top of the post: Classy, down-to-earth, more mature than any human being should have to be. It's exactly the kind of reaction C&F likely wouldn't have if he was threatened because his fiance was of another race.

C&F wishes Mr. and soon-to-be-Mrs. Johnson the best on their wedding day.

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