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Volume 24 No. 117

Sports Society

believes, then it's not he who is wrong, it's the NBA rule"
     COLUMNIST RANDY GALLOWAY:  "The system giveth.  The system
taketh away" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 3/14).
     COLUMNIST BILL CONLIN:  "If the rules of the league that
drew up the contract offend his religion or his personal
sensibilities in any way, he had a right to pump gas, flip
burgers, perform brain surgery, or anything else he was inclined
     NBC'S BILL WALTON:  "In this day and age, when athletes are
more beholding to corporate sponsors and their enormous
paychecks, it's wonderful to see that Abdul-Rauf has decided to
take a stand" (USA TODAY, 3/14).
     COLUMNIST HARVEY ARATON:  "The league could be headed for
dangerous legal waters.  And for what, the anthem or its rule?
Neither of these issues is big enough to suspend this man for
believing what he does" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/14).
     COLUMNIST DAN SHAUGHNESSY, who writes Abdul-Rauf is not Rosa
Parks or Muhammad Ali:  "He is a talented 27-year-old ... digging
a hole for himself" (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/14).
     COLUMNIST E.J. MONTINI:  "Abdul-Rauf is 100 percent
offensive, 100 percent obnoxious, 100 percent juvenile, 100
percent ignorant.  And, still, 100 percent correct" (ARIZONA
REPUBLIC, 3/14).
     COLUMNIST TONY KORNHEISER:  "Let's be clear on this:  This
country wasn't founded to protect the NBA and its marketing
goals.  This country was founded to give people freedom of, and
from, religion" (WASHINGTON POST, 3/14).
     COLUMNIST MIKE LUPICA:  "This is not a religious issue just
because he says it is.  He is not a symbol of anything except
being terribly misguided, or terribly misled" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS,
     COLUMNIST SCOTT OSTLER:  "What the hell does he think this
is?  America?" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 3/14).
     COLUMNIST GORDON MONSON:  "Adjust, Mahmoud.  Stand up   --
and play the game Allah has blessed you to play" (SALT LAKE
TRIBUNE, 3/14).
     COLUMNIST FILIP BONDY writes, if the NBA can suspend Abdul-
Rauf, "they should go after the networks that have fixed the
schedule so they don't have to play the anthem on the air" (N.Y.
DAILY NEWS, 3/14).
     COLUMNIST ED FOWLER:  "Common sense seems to say the NBA has
every right to require its players to show respect for the flag,
if for no other reason than to protect the league's
marketability" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 3/14).
     COLUMNIST TERRY FOSTER:  "Hasn't it become standard practice
for fans to scream and drown out the national anthem while it is
being sung or played.  That sounds like treason to me" (DETROIT
NEWS, 3/14).
     NETS' JAYSON WILLIAMS:  "I'm no politician, but the man has
to remember he's made a lot of money in this country" (ARIZONA
REPUBLIC, 3/14).
     COLUMNIST PETER VECSEY:  "Common sense, if not courtesy,
dictates that Abdul-Rauf gave up his freedom to protest anything
and everything on the Nuggets sidelines (private property) when
he became a member of the team, league and union" (N.Y. POST,