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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (April 18, 1984)
Wednesday, April 10, 1C34
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My recent interview with George
Foreman was very thought-provoking.
The role of a journalist in that instance
is to be skillful enough to extract from
the subject those things which the
reader will find interesting. Also, I
believed it was important to talk about
things that people would find refresh
However, as a columnist, I haw no
obligation to be objective. And the fact
of the matter is, George Foreman ap
pears to be a conglomeration of his
The first contradiction is the one
concerning his new-found religious con
victions. Foreman, as an evangelist,
lias hh own church and travels the
country talking about 'de Lawd.' How
ever, it is ironic that he presented
W7 r T ....
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Christianity as bcsr.3 the anti-thesi s of
violence; that u, he made it clear that
rjs a Christian, he saw no reason to
light and said believing that you had to
be tough and strong was a "fantasy."
, Nay, George, nay! In the first place,
some of the most violent acts perpe
trated against mankind were. perpe
trated by you guessed it Chris
tians! From Dartolome Las Casas and
his suggestions to enslave blacks (in
stead of Indians) for slave labor, to the
"spreading of the word of God" to the
Third World nations (Bible in one hand,
machine gun in the ether), we find
that Christianity and violence ere not
separate entities rather, they are
Another contradiction I spotted was
his statement that, if athletes were
going to be exploited, he believed it
better that they were exploited by the
university. This is ludicrous. In the First
place, if they were being exploited
academically, Foreman might have a
case. But they are not. They are being
exploited physically with academics
being used more or less as a smoke
Secondly, exploitation is exploita
tion. It makes no difference if a pimp
wears a three-piece yellow suit from
Paris or a pair of cutoffs, a T-shirt and
a whistle around his neck.
Foreman also talked about his gold
medal from the 1C38 Olympics and
how proud he was that day. It is ironic
that both he and Ali won the gold in
different Olympic settings but came to
different conclusions. When Ali came
back to the United States and found
that upon returning to Louisville, he
was still treated as a second-class citi
zen, he threw his medal in the river. On
the other hand, Foreman walked
around the ring waving" an American
flag, a symbolic act which can be inter
preted at least two ways by two differ
ent sets of "Americans."
Some will consider it an act of ultra
patriotism and will never forget how
important it is for an athlete to love
and respect his country. These indi
viduals also will contend that since
Foreman is an African, it h h' obli
gation to represent his country and
further, to display as many forms of
commitment and compunction as pos
sible. But there Is another set of "Ameri
cans," who understand why there is a
gold medal lying beneath the mud cf
some Kentucky river. This set of "Am
ericans" would view Foreman's act a3
one of outright hypocrisy, since as
"American," he would have to have
civil rights bills passed and affirmative
action plans actualized before he could
enjoy many of the rights experienced
by others. This second set cf "Ameri
cans" would remember that during the
same year, John Carlos and Tommy
Smith gave the Black Power salute
from atop the winner's podium in Mex
ico. George Foreman is a religious man
and a former world heavyweight champ
ion. These two divergent lifestyles or
professions are more than enough evi
dence to show how "the Americaniza
tion" process works. What we find is
one more example of how we, as a
people, will worship and honor some
(i.e. George Foreman types) while at
,the same time refusing to listen to
those who might not necessarily agree
with Foreman, Christianity or, for that
matter, "the American way."
George Foreman, in the view of some
members of society, is a conglomera
tion of his own contradictions. Once
pugilistic, he is now peaceful Once a
capitalist, he is now the evangelist.
Once concerned with the "heavies," he
is now obsessed with heaven. George
Foreman is a nice man, of this there is
no doubt. But he should always bear in
mind the role of the "Christian" is to be
"Christ-Jike." And one need not be a
Muslim, Mormon or Methodist to know
that Jesus was a revolutionary.
Think about it. '
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