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Katie

Revisiting the racism at Team Foxcatcher

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I always thought that John du Pont's ousting of black athletes from Team Foxcatcher was a horrible episode in wrestling history.

According to Kevin Jackson -- who was kicked off Team Foxcatcher because of his race -- du Pont started getting rid of black things on his property -- such as black vehicles -- and then ousted black wrestlers.

Yet, despite what I view as blatant racism, there was no immediate fallout. USA Wrestling didn't investigate the charge of racial discrimination because USA Wrestling officials felt that pursuing the complaint could put the affected athletes in jeopardy. As Chris Campbell explained it, du Pont was influential with UWW (then called FILA), so the thinking was that an investigation could lead to referees making calls against the athletes who sparked the investigation.

I firmly believe USA Wrestling did the best they could under the circumstances. But even so, it's incredible to think about what the reality was at the time.

[Edit: Made some changes to this post after reading responses to it, and after learning of a 1997 lawsuit against du Pont.]

 

Edited by Katie

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i think it is a little too simplistic to label dupont a racist or his actions actual racism...
but, as we have seen earlier today, calling someone a racist is very en vogue these days...

Are you saying that Kevin Jackson is lying?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Just now, Le duke said:


Are you saying that Kevin Jackson is lying?

oh the melodrama... i can't roll my eyes enough at this...

anyway...

i'm saying that dupont was increasingly mentally unstable and his actions were more of a function of that than any racism... had dupont been a racist, kevin would have never been there in the first place...

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22 minutes ago, LJB said:

oh the melodrama... i can't roll my eyes enough at this...

anyway...

i'm saying that dupont was increasingly mentally unstable and his actions were more of a function of that than any racism... had dupont been a racist, kevin would have never been there in the first place...

I think most people would call a team that bans black people racist. 

i also think any intelligent person would recognize that firing all black people from an organization simply for being black is discrimination on the basis of race. 

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3 minutes ago, Katie said:

I think most people would call a team that bans black people racist. 

i also think any intelligent person would recognize that firing all black people from an organization simply for being black is discrimination on the basis of race. 

dupont was also clearly a carist because he got rid of every black car on the property...

dupont was also a horsist because he got rid of all the black horses on the property...

if dupont was a "racist", why was jackson invited to join the team in the first place?

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20 minutes ago, Katie said:

I think most people would call a team that bans black people racist. 

i also think any intelligent person would recognize that firing all black people from an organization simply for being black is discrimination on the basis of race. 

He had multiple black athletes from different sports living and training on his property for atleast a decade, but years of heavy cocaine abuse mixed with being a lunatic he completely lost it and banned anything black from his property, houses, clothing, horses, cars I mean the guy was bat**** crazy but racists don’t sponsor black athletes for years 

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You are free to have your opinions. I just believe that a team that specifically bans black people is racist, and I think most people would agree with me.

As for hiring someone and then discriminating against him or her on the basis of race, it happens all the time. There are even civil rights laws that address such situations.  

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54 minutes ago, LJB said:

oh the melodrama... i can't roll my eyes enough at this...

anyway...

i'm saying that dupont was increasingly mentally unstable and his actions were more of a function of that than any racism... had dupont been a racist, kevin would have never been there in the first place...

You're very close here.

Let me make the connection for you: racists are mentally unstable. 

I'd add: if you think that racists can't or won't fund black athletes, you're either ignorant or you've got your head in the sand. It's analogous to saying that the owner of an NBA team (e.g., Donald Sterling) isn't racist because some of the players on his team are black. 

It's nothing to do with melodrama--it's about raising awareness of a systematic problem that continues to be questioned by people who can't or won't accept the deeply racist history of this country and its ongoing manifestation in the lives of black athletes and the black community more generally. 

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17 minutes ago, wrestlingzen said:

You're very close here.

Let me make the connection for you: racists are mentally unstable. 

I'd add: if you think that racists can't or won't fund black athletes, you're either ignorant or you've got your head in the sand. It's analogous to saying that the owner of an NBA team (e.g., Donald Sterling) isn't racist because some of the players on his team are black. 

It's nothing to do with melodrama--it's about raising awareness of a systematic problem that continues to be questioned by people who can't or won't accept the deeply racist history of this country and its ongoing manifestation in the lives of black athletes and the black community more generally. 

You’ve had one too many sips of the Kool Aid 

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41 minutes ago, Antitroll2828 said:

He had multiple black athletes from different sports living and training on his property for atleast a decade, but years of heavy cocaine abuse mixed with being a lunatic he completely lost it and banned anything black from his property, houses, clothing, horses, cars I mean the guy was bat**** crazy but racists don’t sponsor black athletes for years 

He didn't create the club until 1989 and it all ended in 1996.

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Start by reading a book.

Seriously: I don't mean a blog, a news article, or some random post about race in this country. A real book.

Here's one place to begin: https://www.amazon.com/New-Jim-Crow-Incarceration-Colorblindness/dp/1595586431

Also, I'm OK with you dismissing my perspective, even if you don't choose to engage with it in on a meaningful level. It's not just a random opinion; outside of the minor dig on LBJ's intelligence, which may or may not be accurate, it's well reasoned, and if you do the work, and do some honest-to-god reflection on your own point of view, you may learn something. I honestly hope you give it try.

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23 minutes ago, wrestlingzen said:

You're very close here.

Let me make the connection for you: racists are mentally unstable. 

I'd add: if you think that racists can't or won't fund black athletes, you're either ignorant or you've got your head in the sand. It's analogous to saying that the owner of an NBA team (e.g., Donald Sterling) isn't racist because some of the players on his team are black. 

It's nothing to do with melodrama--it's about raising awareness of a systematic problem that continues to be questioned by people who can't or won't accept the deeply racist history of this country and its ongoing manifestation in the lives of black athletes and the black community more generally. 

so, you are going to compare an NBA owner who uses black athletes to line his pockets to dupont who gained no monetary value from any athletes and instead spent millions just to be associated with them... is that your big post of the night?

and to say all racist are mentally unstable is analogous to saying all religious people are mentally unstable.

but hey, thanks for trying so hard... you go snuggle in your self righteousness now... sweet dreams...

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I don't think DuPont was really racist. He was just a nutcase who did lots of drugs and was paranoid as hell.  Drugs can mess with even the most level headed person, so him getting rid of everything black on his farm, even athletes isn't really a racist thing, it's him being mentally ill and weird.  Supposedly he said something how he considered it KKK headquarters or something to Kevin Jackson, or somebody else, I don't remember.  But I don't think he was racist, maybe his mental illness manifested itself in that way for some reason, but up until then he hadn't shown any indication of racist behavior, tendencies or actions.  If he had then I'll freely admit I was wrong.  From my understanding he just came in one day and told them they were gone and he considered black to be evil and the color of death and that was it.  I know Kurt Angle said that a lot of people felt it was a racial thing, he specifically mentioned Kenny Monday being very vocal about it, but that he didn't think DuPont was racist, that he was just losing his mind and doing drugs that caused him to act like that.  

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Just so I have this straight:

1)  You're choosing to amplify the perspective of a murderer who killed one of our nation's most accomplished and beloved wrestlers. Got it.

2) RE: the analogy to Donald Sterling. Your claim suggests that one can't be racist if they aren't making money on black athletes; clearly, DP wasn't in it for the money. That certainly doesn't mean he wasn't racist. 

3) I don't follow your connection to religion. My argument: if you judge people according to their 'race'--which I realize and admit is a complex concept--you've got mental problems. (And I honestly don't mean that in a condescending way.)

4) I don't feel righteous at all. I've been part of the wrestling community my whole life, and I feel it's important to stand up and support and believe those voices--starting with those men who shared their experiences online through USA wrestling--when they say that a race problem exists within the wrestling community.

You should try harder.

 

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2 minutes ago, Antitroll2828 said:

The duponts sponsored multiple Olympic sports training for years before the inception of the wrestling team 

I don't think they lived there at the Farm though. He didn't develop the place further until his mother died in 1988. He was interested in the modern pentathlon and swimming.   In reading up on his involvement in those sports the athletes talk about coming in training and leaving. 

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12 minutes ago, TripNSweep said:

I don't think DuPont was really racist. He was just a nutcase who did lots of drugs and was paranoid as hell.  Drugs can mess with even the most level headed person, so him getting rid of everything black on his farm, even athletes isn't really a racist thing, it's him being mentally ill and weird.  Supposedly he said something how he considered it KKK headquarters or something to Kevin Jackson, or somebody else, I don't remember.  But I don't think he was racist, maybe his mental illness manifested itself in that way for some reason, but up until then he hadn't shown any indication of racist behavior, tendencies or actions.  If he had then I'll freely admit I was wrong.  From my understanding he just came in one day and told them they were gone and he considered black to be evil and the color of death and that was it.  I know Kurt Angle said that a lot of people felt it was a racial thing, he specifically mentioned Kenny Monday being very vocal about it, but that he didn't think DuPont was racist, that he was just losing his mind and doing drugs that caused him to act like that.  

Hey man, I appreciate what you're saying here.

I obviously don't have firsthand information on the situation at Foxcatcher, but I'd say this: let's just believe Kenny Monday. I don't know what he, or Angle, has said, but if Monday said race was an issue, then I'm taking his word for it. 

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Just now, gimpeltf said:

I don't think they lived there at the Farm though. He didn't develop the place further until his mother died in 1988. He was interested in the modern pentathlon and swimming.   In reading up on his involvement in those sports the athletes talk about coming in training and leaving. 

True i don’t know if any lived there but I’ve read that even as a child the family had people training on the property 

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Just now, Antitroll2828 said:

True i don’t know if any lived there but I’ve read that even as a child the family had people training on the property 

Looks like he set up some of the tri and pentathlon courses mid-60s. Before that it would be more about equestrian with his mother and tennis with father.

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2 minutes ago, wrestlingzen said:

Just so I have this straight:

1)  You're choosing to amplify the perspective of a murderer who killed one of our nation's most accomplished and beloved wrestlers. Got it.

2) RE: the analogy to Donald Sterling. Your claim suggests that one can't be racist if they aren't making money on black athletes; clearly, DP wasn't in it for the money. That certainly doesn't mean he wasn't racist. 

3) I don't follow your connection to religion. My argument: if you judge people according to their 'race'--which I realize and admit is a complex concept--you've got mental problems. (And I honestly don't mean that in a condescending way.)

4) I don't feel righteous at all. I've been part of the wrestling community my whole life, and I feel it's important to stand up and support and believe those voices--starting with those men who shared their experiences online through USA wrestling--when they say that a race problem exists within the wrestling community.

You should try harder.

 

1. i am not attempting to "amplify" anything in regards to dupont... i think it is incredibly elementary and revisionist history to say he was a racist when nothing he did previous would point towards it, in fact quite the opposite... he grew increasingly mentally ill and that spurred the action of removing not just black athletes, but, everything black fro mthe farm... you keep conveniently leaving that part out... you should try harder;

2. i claimed nothing about what constitutes a racist... you are reading what you want to and not what was written... you should try harder;

3. racism is just like religion... it is a learned behavior... racism does not equal mental illness... that is a child's take... it is just a learned behavior that comes from reinforcement from others... i don't think you should try harder here;

4. i am not saying there is not racism within the wrestling community or that we should not stand up against it... again, you just reading what you want because of your self righteousness... you clearly won't try harder here.

dupoint was not racist... he was crazier than a sh!t house rat and that was why he did what he did...

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12 minutes ago, wrestlingzen said:

Hey man, I appreciate what you're saying here.

I obviously don't have firsthand information on the situation at Foxcatcher, but I'd say this: let's just believe Kenny Monday. I don't know what he, or Angle, has said, but if Monday said race was an issue, then I'm taking his word for it. 

for sure, take an emotional response and do not put any critical thinking into it at all...

just go with that emotion...

good thinking...

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1 minute ago, LJB said:

1. i am not attempting to "amplify" anything in regards to dupont... i think it is incredibly elementary and revisionist history to say he was a racist when nothing he did previous would point towards it, in fact quite the opposite... he grew increasingly mentally ill and that spurred the action of removing not just black athletes, but, everything black fro mthe farm... you keep conveniently leaving that part out... you should try harder;

2. i claimed nothing about what constitutes a racist... you are reading what you want to and not what was written... you should try harder;

3. racism is just like religion... it is a learned behavior... racism does not equal mental illness... that is a child's take... it is just a learned behavior that comes from reinforcement from others... i don't think you should try harder here;

4. i am not saying there is not racism within the wrestling community or that we should not stand up against it... again, you just reading what you want because of your self righteousness... you clearly won't try harder here.

dupoint was not racist... he was crazier than a sh!t house rat and that was why he did what he did...

You seem vociferous in your point of view. That's fine; it's not my job to change your personal perspective. It's a much bigger issue than you or me.

The reason I'm responding to your posts--which strike me as more or less superficial and ugly--is that I want anyone who might read a thread like this (before it gets locked) to know that your point of view has not gone unchallenged. There are people in the wrestling community, and on this board, who are willing to stand against racism and respond to people who, like you, feel a need to argue on the behalf of a murderer rather than even consider that, just maybe, race was an issue at Foxcatcher. It's not revisionist; it's understanding reality through an evolved lens.

And again, I'm not self-righteous. My aim here is to articulate a reasoned and principled stance. I am trying harder: that's why I'm on this message board choosing to engage with you.

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