Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Following is an excerpt from KARE 11 News in Minneapolis

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- "Organizers of the Twin Cities Marathon are working on contingency plans to handle a protest by the St. Paul chapter of Black Lives Matter intended to disrupt the race.
This Sunday, roughly 12,000 runners will take off from downtown Minneapolis at 8 a.m. on their 26.2-mile journey finishing near the Minnesota State Capitol.
Rashad Turner, one of the organizers of Black Lives Matter St. Paul, will not disclose exact plans on how or where they intend to disrupt the race, but he says the group will adapt to any change of plans race organizers have in mind.
"We don't plan on having any physical contact with runners, but we do plan to make ourselves the finish line," said Turner."

I am not going to debate the issue, the cause, the movement, or the reasons for it.

Simply, the marathon finish line is the wrong place for this.

Let's look at two stark, similar examples of misguided individuals using running and athletics as a platform to further their "cause."

In 1980, in response to the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, President Jimmy Carter decided to boycott the Olympic games in Moscow.

The last Soviet soldiers left Afghanistan in 1989.

So much for your boycott, Mr. Carter.

At the 2013 Boston Marathon, two despicable terrorists decided to further their cause by detonating two bombs near the finish line, killing three and injuring and destroying the lives of many more.

Those lives mattered too.

How does "making ourselves the finish line" do anything to further this cause?

There is no more eclectic, all-inclusive group of people on the planet than runners. There is nothing political or racial when it comes to marathons. I'm certain the Twin Cities Marathon boasts entrants from many countries, nationalities, racial, and ethnic groups.

A good friend, Mike Carriglitto, who will run the race on Sunday, had an excellent suggestion. Hold signs and protest along the race route, if you want your voice to be heard. Threatening the finish line of the race is simply a very, very bad idea.

Folks with disabilities will participate in the race, as will many who will raise many thousands of dollars which will benefit people, regardless of their color or ethnicity.

Organizers of this particular protest are myopic, and have not done their research on runners and their supporters.

If they had, they would realist that the marathon finish line is the wrong place for this.