The frontrunner for all ALL-SPORTS TALK RADIO shows in DC is HAROLD BELL & INSIDE SPORTS. The ALL-SPORTS TALK SHOW FORMAT in DC is a ill-fated and a watered down copy of INSIDE SPORTS!!!!!
I took sports talk radio to a brand NEW level and ALL SPORTS TALK RADIO in DC followed my TRAIL. I went where there was no TRAIL and I left a PATH for others to follow and ALL-SPORTS TALK RADIO followed!
My question, what did they do different–did I miss something in Andy Polin’s story in the Washington Post in May 2017?
WHUR Radio sports talk show host and jazz historian the late Ron Sutton, we are seen at the integrated NBA Bullets press table in the early 70s, despite breaking down this barrier little has changed for blacks in sports media.
In fact, it was on the John Thompson “The Sacred Cow” sports talk radio show with his co-host Doc Walker when NBA pioneer Earl Lloyd said, “Harold Bell maybe controversial but I have yet to hear anyone call him a liar.” The silence that followed his statement was deafening, you could have heard a mouse piss on cotton.
I am still trying to figure out where were “The All-Sports Talk Shows” format when Big John became the coach of Georgetown in 1974 and could not win a game? He needed a sports talk show to promo his team to help save his job and guess where he landed—Inside Sports and Harold Bell?
Since I pioneered the sports talk show format in 1970 with The Original Inside Sports on W-O-O-K Radio, men of a certain hue and some brothers and sisters (National Association of Black Journalist) have all tried to diminish my influence and contributions to sports talk media throughout America and the World.
One local mega church Minister John Jenkins paid the loud month clown of ESPN Stephen A. Smith to come in and speak to his congregation!
Minister Louis Farakhan called the NABJ a bunch of “Uncle Toms” as a guest speaker at their convention in 2007 that should give you some idea who these folks really are.
First, the Washington Post kidnapped my title “INSIDE SPORTS” in a joint effort with a Style Section reporter by the name of John Walsh.
He would travel to New York City with the blessings and financial support of owners Kathy Graham, son Donald and sports editor George Solomon to publish “Inside Sports Magazine” in 1978. The magazine bombed out and two years later it folded. Walsh was never able to copy my successful radio talk show format and transfer that success into print.
He was eventually picked up by ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut and retired as a VP several years ago. ESPN would become an “Out Post” for the Washington Post sports department. It became known as “Washington Post North.”
Long time Washington Post columnist Colby King even used his influence to get his son a job there as an Editor for ESPN Magazine. ESPN and HBO were the first to copy the Inside Sports format, ESPN’s Outside the Lines, Sports Reporters and HBO’s Real Sports were all dressed up with makeup and brand new shiny shoes, but the Inside Sports’ smell gave Bob Levy and Bryant Gumble away.
The COPYRIGHTS to Inside Sports now belong to NEWSWEEK and guess who owns NEWSWEEK—how about the WASHINGTON POST?
The sports media ass-kissing personalities who have tried to drag my name through the mud include, Tony Korheiser, John Feinstein, Leonard Sharpiro, Norman Chad, Mike Wise, the common denominator, all Washington Post sports’ reporters and a wanna-be reporter, Dave McKenna. Unlike most most of their targets, they could not find a trail of lies, jail, drug and alcohol abuse.
Sharpiro became pissed off at me when he tried to promo his new book “The Real John Thompson” on Inside Sports and my review was not to his liking. My on air question to him was “How was this going to be an accurate portrayal of John Thompson and you never interviewed him, his family or friends?” He left the studio pretending to take a bathroom break during a commerial and never came back. I heard he only sold 10 copies of the book to family and friends.
And then there was, Earl Guskey (LA Times), Dave Kindred (Atlanta Journal) and the late Bryant Burwell (Washington Star) to name just a few who dared to Player-Hate on me without doing their homework! All of these guys including Burwell should be glad they were not born black (no talent). Burwell was trying to close a book deal with Sugar Ray Leonard when he use me as his sacrificial lamb and wrote a negative and a not true column on my relationship with Ray.
The brothers who once worked in the Washington Post Sports department were all decent human beings to include Dave Dupree, Donald Huff, Dave Aldridge and Michael Wilbon. Wilbon lost his way when he allowed a ZERO like Feinstein to call him “The biggest ass kisser in sports media” and he never responded! One of Michael’s problems, he is a follower and his word means absolutely nothing. Its called “The Korhisner Effect” birds of a feather flock together.
Feinstein became a Player-Hater and was pissed off with Wilbon because he became an “ass-kisser and cheerleader” for some of the biggest names in pro sports, John Thompson, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Charles Barkley (Sacred Cows) and Feinstein didn’t have the same access.
The only thing Korheisner ever wrote in the Washington Post about me was during a Riddick Bowe vs Elijah Tillery a heavyweight brawl at the DC Convention Center in October 1991. Bowe was awarded a 1st round tko after the fight turned into a kicking match between the two fighters.
Bowe’s entourage joined in the brawl and I was suckered punch by a Convention Center employee and all hell broke loose. The next day Korheisner wrote in his column “The best fight took place in press row between sports talk host Harold Bell and a spectator.” No harm no foul and I ignored his jab at me.
The difference between me and Wilbon and other brothers in the media, I don’t allow any of these cowards in sports media to talk negatively about me without a response. My contributions in the community and sports media—are one of a kind, there are no comparisons.
Every four or five years the media will get someone like a wanna-be such as Andy Polin to take a shot at my contributions and even though they don’t write my name and their columns, I am good at reading between the lines. For example; Korheiser and Junior (Feinstein) where visiting a sick friend on his death bed, this same friend once represented me in a settlement case against a major bottling company (radio sponsor).
I discovered he was trying to make his own deal with the bottling company and tried to convince me to settle for less than half of what was owed to me and I said, “Hell No”. Evidently, he told these two idiots about the settlement and while he was lying there on his death bed they were talking about the one thing the three of them had in common, “They hated Harold Bell.” The story appeared on the sports pages of the Washington Post.
I have not forgotten the late sports talk show host Ken Beatrice on WMAL Radio. Ken was one of the nicest guys you ever wanted to know, but he exaggerated his knowledge of sports on his radio show.
Ken came to DC in 1977 and joined WMAL as host of Sports Call, the station’s nightly sports show. I had been on the air for eight years, by the time he had arrived in town and according to the Washington Post, Washington Star and Washingtonian Magazine, Inside Sports was the best talk show in the DMV.
Andy Ockenhouser WMAL’s GM was the greatest “Spin Doctor” in radio. He wanted to make Ken the greatest talk show host in the city. Ken became one of the city’s most popular talk show host thanks to his PR man, Ockenhouser. The Washington Post jumped on the band wagon, but jumped off just as fast as they had jumped on. The paper assigned its “Hit Man” Tony Kornheiser to investigate Ken and his credentials.
Ken is standing on the back row in sun glasses supporting my Kids In Trouble Celebrity Tennis Tournament in Anacostia Park in SE DC, kneeling in sun glasses is Washington Post Mafia type Godfather, sports editor George Solomon.
The pressure was so great on Ken he confessed that he did not play football at Boston College, that his doctorate degree was from a diploma mill in Ohio and that his scouting system only involved people who scouted as a hobby. On February 20, 1981 he made the addmission to the Washington Star newspaper.
Ken knew that Kornheiser was about to drop a story in the Washington Post on him admitting he had no role in the Boston Patriots drafting the great QB Fran Tarkenton as he had previously said on his talk show. When the story broke Ken took a leave of absence, but returned five weeks later. On August 16, 1991 he suffered a heart attack, which required him to undergo triple bypass surgery. The beat down by the Washington Post and the stress of trying to survive the Player-Haters in the sports media here in DC was a little too much for him. He died in 2015 at the age of 72.
I never saw Ken as a threat to me and my show, Inside Sports and Sports Call were two completely different entities. He was able to easily to gain popularity and raise monies for his non-profit charitable community programs, despite having no background of ever doing anything in any community. He had plenty of company with a host of black journalist (NABJ) who have no record of doing anything in the community before becoming experts on the black community. Despite our differences Ken and I still became friends.
Michael Wilbon is one of those black NABJ journalist whose only experience in the black community is he was born black. We share a laugh at Ben’s Chili Bowl during a salute to the black athlete for Black History Month. He sees John Thompson, Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley and Tiger Woods as “Sacred Cows”! DC sports legend Gary Mays sits neaby.
I tried to warn my buddy Wilbon who had a similar experience as Ken. He had to be rushed from his home in Arizona after suffering a heart attack in 2008. My advice to Wilbon, back up off of the cheerleading and ass kissing. I am not sure he heard me. He has reverted back to his oldself and lying ways.
There is a difference between me and Wilbon and his colleague and friend Stephen A. Smith (in-house ESPN clown), the Greatest, Ali, Red Auerbach and Jim Brown never required me to jump through hoops or kiss their rings and asses for an interview.
There have been several “Witch Hunts” aimed at me by several writers, one writer went all the way back into the radio archives in the 1930s trying to find something negative in my history. The writer, Dave McKenna’s only discovery was that there was a radio station that once use “Inside Sports.” His problem, he could not verify that my wife Hattie had gone into that same radio archives and found the tag “Inside Sports.”
My beef with McKenna is when he wrote a disparaging column on me in the City Paper during a Black History Month celebration on behalf of NBA pioneer Earl Lloyd, he forgot how Korhisner and Solomon “White Balled” him out at the Washington Post.
There is a difference between White Ball and Black Ball, McKeena was run out of the newspaper business by white folks. Black Balled is when you are tripled team by the NABJ, The Museum of African American History and Culture and the likes of the Washington Post. Houdini would have had a problem beating those odds.
Google Oscar Award winning Actress Mo’Nique as she explains the difference between being blackballed and whiteballed on stage at the Apollo theater in New York City on May 6, 2017, this video is x-rated.
McKenna was able to return to the Washington Post and the no talent Korhisner is still on national television with his “Boy” Michael Wilbon and I am still on the “Outside” looking in! I will probably be dead and gone, but maybe one day when McKenna is retired from the newspaper business, he will write a book on the media and the Fake News and its Play-Haters that existed during his tenure as a writer.
The proof is in the pudding, try to get one them to go on the RECORD using their names as it relates to HAROLD BELL—ANONIMITY will be requested.
History stolen and suppressed! I am the Archie Bunker (All in the Family) of sports talk radio. I have been copied, but never duplicated!
DC native CBS/NFL studio host of “Inside The NFL” James Brown forgot the Player-Hating experiences he had at WTEM and WUSA TV 9 earlier in his career. He tried to surpress our relationship by telling friends and family that the legendary radio and television icon Petey Greene was his mentor. I had to remind him that was not true. JB like Magic Johnson was living in a fantasy world while being showcased around Major League Baseball as ‘Minority Owners’ nothing could have been further from the truth. JB was living out this fantasy at cocktail parties and receptions for the rich and famous. In the meantime, his role as a minority owner was limited to reading the starting line-ups on ‘Opening Day’!
I reminded JB he made no baseball decisions (trades, drafting players or hiring coaches and front office personnel) for the Washington Nationals and neither did Magic Johnson for the LA Dodgers. I stayed in his ear until he finally confessed on the late George Michael television sports talk show on WRC TV 4. In response to a question from George relating to the Nationals, he said, “I make no baseball decisions for the team.”
There are guys like JB, Wilbon, Barkley, Magic, and Stephen A. Smith who think money and status is going to protect their children from racism are in for a rude awakening. Their cry to their colleagues should be the same cry we all see while riding public transportation, “If you see something say something!” Why should our children have to face the same racism that our parents and we have faced? No risk no reward!
Top: My mentor Petey Greene and James Brown / Bottom: Sam Jones (NBA), James Brown (CBS), HBell and Earl Lloyd (NBA)
“Harold Bell has always been a voice for people who didn’t have a voice. He has always called them as he saw it. He has been an inspiration and motivation for me and a lot of other black broadcasters.” James Brown (CBS)
Remember, Harold Bell and Inside Sports, COMMON SENSE–STREET SENSE–BOOK SENSE–SPORTS SENSE–UNDEFEATED!
Andy Polin, is just another wanna-be, his only claim to fame, he was a relative of NBA Washington Bullet/Wizard owner Abe Polin. If you don’t know you need to ask someone, the conclusion, all sports talk show formats in America are a copy of THE ORIGINAL INSIDE SPORTS and not even a good copy.
I would like to remind Andy, a LIE will change a thousand times the TRUTH never changes. I clearly understand, if you don’t speak up for yourself in this “Fake News Media” environment no one else will. The univited elephant in the room is still racism and they are still trying to sweep it under the rug.
The bottom-line, when you have to use John Thompson (Sacred Cow) as your “Poster Boy” for sports talk media you have definitely reached the bottom of the barrel!
In case you missed it, check out The Bleacher Report (CBS own) for my story on “The Real John Thompson” before they delete it—I am still waiting for someone to call me a liar! The blog/story received over 50,000 hits before they shut it down (its latest count is a little over 5,000 hits another lie).
It was this blog that got the attention of 106.7 the fan sports talk show host and former Washington Post columnist Mike Wise (ESPN Undefeated). He invited me to come on the show to discuss my blog on John Thompson. Mike and I had a back and forth email relationship/conversations about some of his colums both good and bad.
I had no idea that I was headed into a “Double team” with his Howdy Doody co-host Chris Johnson who I had never seen or heard of!
As an athlete who wanted the ball in his hands when the game was on the line, I was familiar with the “Double Team” by the opposing team, but the only game Mike’s co-host had played was making sure Big John had a clean towel draped over his shoulder during Georgetown’s games. Dave McKenna then a columnist for The City Paper wrote a lionizing pargraph in my favor saying something to the effect, “Harold Bell left the Mike Wise talk show with his legendary status intact”!
Mike Wise would later email me saying, “Harold in my opinion you belong in the sports hall of fame, but you have probably pissed off all the judges.”
I have no problem pissing people off, especially, when they are standing up on the roof pissing down on me—claiming its only rain!
References: Bleacher Report, Washington Post, LA Times, Atlanta Journal, Washington Star, NY Amsterdam News, Washington Afro
My question, “What is in your wallet?”
The Boston Red Sox was the last major league team to add a black player. Elijah Pumpsie Green joined the Red Sox roster in 1959. On May 1, 2017 fifty-eight years later the Baltimore Orioles’ outfielder Adam Jones was called the N word and had a bag of peanuts thrown at him in Boston. The more things change the more they remain the same.
The Twilight Zone was a television series in the 60s and was the brainchild of actor Rod Sterling. The show was a strange mix of horror, comedy, science fiction, drama, and superstition. Many black athletes describe the city of Boston the same way.
This should not come as a surprise to any of us who were honored in sports media to follow the modern day pioneering efforts of Jackie Robinson (MLB), Joe Louis (Boxing), and Jim Brown (NFL).
Time Magazine recently published a article titled “Why Boston Sports Teams Can’t Escape the City’s Racism”.
Nothing could be further from the truth the NBA Boston Celtics did escape racism in Boston Garden. Thanks to Celtic owner Walter Brown and coach Red Auerbach.
Mr. Brown and Red were the Top Cops when it came to racial harmony and Equal Opportunity Employers in the NBA.
They were the first to draft a black player, Chuck Cooper, the first to play five black players at the same time, the first to hire a black coach and the first to hire a black General Manager. The coach and the General Manager had the same last name, Russell as in Bill.
Basketball historians like, Philadelphia legend Sonny Hill and New Amsterdam Newspaper sports Editor Howie Evans didn’t have a clue. They claim Chuck Cooper was the first black to play in the NBA, until they heard my Inside Sports interview with Red Auerbach. Red revealed Earl Lloyd was the first to play because of a glitch in the schedule that allowed him to play one day earlier than Chuck.
There are plenty of black athletes who can testify to the sometimes smothering racism of the city of Boston. Bill Russell won 11 NBA championships as a player, coach and General Manager.
He wrote in his 1979 memoir, “Second Wind”, ‘the city was a flea market of racism, it had all varieties, old and new, and in their most virulent form. City hall was corrupt, with hall-crony racists, brick-throwing, send-them back to Africa racists, and in the university areas phony radical-chi racist.’
One of the stories he tells about his encounter with racism he left out of the book. That one story he tells was like something out of “The Godfather One” series.
Shortly after signing with the Celtics he brought a home in the suburbs only to return home one night to pull back the sheets and discovered someone had done a No. 1 in his bed. Remember the movie producer who refuse to hire The Godfather’s godson for a starring role in his upcoming movie? He woke up one morning to find one of his prize stallion horse’s head in the bed with him. Russell got the message and moved!
In Boston Garden it was a different story, when the red neck racist attended NBA games at the Boston Garden, it was mandatory that they check their Klu Klux Klan hoods and robes at the door. Those were orders from the Top Cops, Walter Brown and Red Auerbach. Boston Garden, security had strict orders to ID trouble makers and show them the front door immediately.
The Brawl that broke out at the Wizards and Celtics play-off game in DC had nothing to do with racism, but everything to do with a young immature Wizards player Kelly Oubre acting like a spoiled child.
I remember in the 80s when Larry Bird was having his way winning three MVP awards and playing the game on the same level with “The Big Three”, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas, black folks were outraged that he was compared with this trio. They expressed their outrage by calling the Celtics a racist team and Larry Bird overrated.
To add fuel to the fire in 1987 Isiah Thomas of the Detroit Pistons acted much like Oubre. Thomas was quoted saying after losing a hotly contested final Eastern Conference game 7, “If Larry Bird was a black player, he would be just average”. This was a racist statement. He was made to apologize and eat his own words.
The telephone calls to Inside Sports regarding the racist Boston Celtics and its overrated player Larry Bird were off the hook and chain. Those same callers changed their tune when I read them the Equal Opportunity History of the Boston Celtics.
Washington Post Sports Editor George Solomon and writers like Dave Dupree, Byron Rosen, Mike Wilbon, Tom Callahan and David Aldridge were regular contributors on Inside Sports in the 70s and 80s, 90s.
Solomon was listening to the Saturday show I was trying to explain to my listeners they had the city mixed-up with the team. The following Monday he called to ask me to write a column explaining the difference between racism in the city and a team that was really color blind. The column got great reviews and it took my writing career to the next level.
Washington National’s manager Dusty Baker kept it real about Adam Jones, he said, “It doesn’t really surprise me too much because I’ve been called that word in almost every city I have played in, minor leagues, big leagues, the letters of hate. So it don’t really shock me too much, from L. A. to New York, in some places more than others.”
New York Yankee left-hander CC Sabathia told reporters, “I have never been called the ‘N’ word anywhere but in Boston.”
A day before the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Lebron James was to play in the 2017 NBA finals against the Golden State Warriors his LA home was sprayed painted with the N word across his front gate. Everyone acted surprised, hate crimes have doubled in America. It is funny how everyone crys wolf once we are confronted, too many think it does not concern us until it appears on our front doorstep. Pro sports are the leading coponent of racism in America.
A friend and her husband were recently invited to a Washington Nationals’ baseball game. The invitation was extended by the company her husband works for. Their seats were located in “The Diamond Suite” of the stadium. She described the experience as if they had just passed through ‘The TwiLight Zone’. There was great food and drinks all free and you never had to leave your seat to get your food. There was also big screen TV, you never had to look at the action on the field of play.
The suite was the “Playground” of Washington’s elite. It was definitely a Different World, one that many black Washingtonians will never see or experience. They have been locked out and it is by design.
In the meantime, Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred was heard talking out of both sides of his mouth when he commented on the Adam Jones incident, he said, “The behavior of these few ignorant individuals does not reflect the millions of great baseball fans who attend our games.”
Manfield is the overseer of a league that has priced people of color out his stadiums nationwide as it relates to the price of tickets, food and parking.
The average family of four cannot afford to attend a major league baseball game, it would really cost them an arm and leg.
He was quoted saying during the ground breaking ceremony for the Jackie Robinson Museum, “With the signing of Jackie Robinson by Branch Rickey it took our sport beyond the playing field. There are a lot of American heroes, but Jackie Robinson is in a class by himself!”
Red Auerbach, in an interview on Inside Sports, I asked him about what Black athletes did he admire most. He said, “There are so many, but I have always had a great deal of admiration for Jackie Robinson. We all know what Jackie has done as a pioneer, but he was such a great athlete.”
I mention to Red during the interview that I had heard that Jackie’s best sport was not baseball. His response, “No football was his best sport and he was a good basketball player to, we have had a lot of arguments when it comes to the best all around athlete of all time and it always comes back to Jackie Robinson and Jim Brown. They are the ones who have done it and not the potential”!
What makes the Adam Jones’ incident so ironic is that the Boston Red Sox have more African-American (4) players on its roster than any other major league team. The San Diego Padres home of one of the greatest hitter in the history of the game, the great late Tony Gwynn has zero African-Americans on its roster.
Baseball is called the American past time, but it has the lowest amount (8%) of African-Americans participating in the game since 1986 (18%) and there is no black ownership. It makes you wonder why it is called America’s favorite pasttime?
Baseball’s giant among men the great Jackie Robinson broke down the color barriers of major league baseball in 1947 or so we thought. He turned the other cheek when it was not a part of his DNA and the stress of that ordeal cost him his life at the young age of 53 in 1972.
It didn’t help when his own people turned against him when he joined the Republican Party. Jackie understood long before the masses the Democrats were running a game on blacks called, “Now you see and now you don’t”! These are the same blacks that also turned against Rev. Martin Luther King and Muhammad Ali. The common denominator, Jackie, Martin, and Ali were all strong willed independent black men who marched to their own drummer.
In April 2017 Rachel and Sharon Robinson the wife and daughter of Jackie broke ground for the Museum that will bear his name in New York City. Rachel will be 95 years old in July and Sharon said, “This will be her birthday present”.
My question, why has it taken the Jackie Robinson Foundation and his family over 4 decades to raise what I see as “Chump Change” for major league baseball to get this project off the ground?
For the ground breaking ceremony alone they had to hustle up a grant for 6.5 million dollars donated by the Strada Education Network to clear the way for construction. The grant was the largest ever received by the Jackie Robinson Foundation since the founding by Rachel Robinson in 1973.
The museum is scheduled to open for public consumption in 2019. The problem, the Jackie Robinson Foundation will need another 18 million dollars to keep the doors open to the public. Why has a filthy rich Major Baseball League not stepped up to the plate with more than a measly one-million dollar donation?
The unvieling of a stature of Jackie Robinson in front of Dodger Stadium and the annual celebration of the retirement of his number 42 every April does not let Major League Baseball and Manfred off the hook.
SharonRobinson said, “Our father was known around our house as more than a baseball player, he was known as a “Activist” and a risk taker! Sounds a lot like the Red Auerbach I knew.
This is another example of ‘Talk is cheap’! Baseball Commissioner Manfred needs to put baseball’s money where his mouth is and give Rachel Robinson the financial breathing room for the Jackie Robinson Museum it deserves.
The more things change the more they stay the same!
In February 2016 during Black History Month I encountered former Washington Post sports columnist the two Mikes, Mike Wilbon (ESPN) and Mike Wise (Undefeated). They were in the NBA Wizards’ media press room making small talk when I arrived on the scene. Wise brought to my attention that he had just seen a screening of the documentary titled “The First to Play” based on the NBA pioneering efforts of Earl Lloyd. The screening was in New York City. He complimented me on my role in the film.
The sad part, the producer of the documentary is a scam artist by the name of Arka Sengupta. In 2016 in Alexandria, Virginia the hometown of Earl Lloyd I participated in the documentary along with his former friends and teammates. Arka has since left the participants completely in the dark and has written several bad checks to researcher Ms. Cha Bah.
NBA scam artist Arka Sengupta
Ms. Bah had spent hundreds of hours traveling in the District, Maryland and Virginia retrieving information from libraries and museums to help make the Earl Lloyd documentary a success. Arka shown his appreciation by bouncing checks written to Ms. Bah while receiving thousands of investment dollars from NBA players such as; former San Antonio player Michael Finley, and active players Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard. NY Knicks’ star Camelo Anthony also wrote a big check, but still he cannot pay Ms. Bah? Leonard was sold a bill of goods to become co-executive producer. Arka has put brothers with names like Kawhi Leonard, Coodie and Chike on the marquee while he hides behind the scenes calling the shots.
San Antonio players Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker, former player Michael Finley and New York Knickerbocker’s star Camelo Anthony
The scam started during the regular season 2016 and has spilled over into the 2017 NBA Play-offs. Stories in the Undefeated (ESPN) and Slam Magazine never mention Arka Sengupta as the producer of the documentary. Why is he hiding? Arka is the invisible man who hides behind the scene while one of the NBA’s most respected players Kawhi Leonard is made the front man for the scam.
We forget so easy, I notice during Earl Lloyd’s 2003 NBA Hall of Fame induction, NBA legend and icon Red Auerbach was never mentioned in his acceptance speech. It took fifty-three years (1950-2003) before Lloyd was finally inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame as a “Contributor”. It never would have happen without Red, the late Washington Time sports columnist Dick Heller and yours truly who reminded the historians on the selection committee they had forgotten Earl Lloyd.
Now “The Fake News Sports Media”, sees no fraud, speaks no fraud, and writes no fraud—is this the new wave of sports reporting? Is this how we celebrate the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball’s color line?
In 1947 Jackie was 1% of the entire league. Today baseball celebrates that milestone with only 8% of African-American participation the lowest in decades (1986). The country’s favorite past time is headed back to 1% and without black ownership. In April 2017 Rachel and Sharon Robinson, the wife and daughter of Jackie recently celebrated the ground breaking ceremony of the new museum named after him in NY City. In the meantime, the Boston Red Sox team with the most African-American players (4) showed their true colors in a recent game against the Baltimore Orioles in Boston. Several fans called Oriole outfielder Adam Jones the N word and then threw a bag of peanuts at him. Adam Jones should feel lucky Dodger fans threw a black cat at Jackie!
While the Boston Red Sox have the most African-American players (4) I find it difficult to believe that the home of one of baseball’s greatest hitters, the late Tony Gwynn, the San Diego Padres have no African-Americans on its roster! African-Americans are so low on the totem pole, black players like David Ortiz, Derek Jeter and the flow of Hispanic players claim to be anything but black (aka Tiger Woods). They really think this is a color blind society (several days ago a white cop in Texas shot into a car of black teen-agers driving away from the scene of a party killing a 15 year old honor student). The beat goes on!
In the meantime, Rachel Robinson will celebrate her 95th birthday in July, the thought of the opening of the museum in July 2019 will be a great birthday present for her after waiting decades to make this a reality.
A grant of 6.5 million was needed from the Strada Education Network to put the project over the top. The grant gave the foundation a total of 25 million dollars for renovation on the first floor. Sharon and Rachel must now find a way to raise another 18 million to operate the museum when it opens in 2019.
How can this be while a filthy rich Major League Baseball (32 teams) stands on the sidelines and its only contribution in memory of this great player and pioneer is a stature of him in front of Dodger Stadium, a measly one-million dollar donation and the annual retirement celebration of his number 42 being worn by players every April in stadiums around the country?
Is this just a camouflage for the ongoing racism in America’s favorite past time? It has been 70 years since we first thought that Jackie Robinson had broken baseball’s color line, still in 2017 the “Good Old Boys” are still living in the dark ages without a minority owner. The NBA has one minority owner, The NFL has none.
Michael Powell sports writer for the NY Times described the 2017 NFL draft as a “Meat Market”, where the players were treated no different than the slaves on plantations in the 1600s.
Earl Lloyd was often heard saying, “I was no Jackie Robinson” he got that right, but who was or is? The more things change the more they remain the same.
The Round Ball Report family
The Round Ball Report all things basketball is seen on local cable television CTV 76 in Prince Georges County, Maryland. For over two decades the program has been The Farm Team for producing sports media personalities and a training ground for behind the scenes technicians in radio and television nationally.
The Executive Producers are the dynamic husband and wife team of Andrew and Darlene Dyer.
Christy would learn her sports broadcasting lessons from her mentor Andrew Dyer who brought her on the Round Ball Report and made her the co-host of the show. The best cross-over move in local sports talk television.
Her resume has been unchallenged in a industry dominated by ego tripping males. She was an All-American high school basketball player at South Lakes in Reston, Virginia. Christy led South Lakes to an undefeated season her senior year (29-0) and to a state title.
She averaged 23 points a game and 14 rebounds and 6 block shots. Christy closed out her high school career scoring 1,785 points, 1,075 rebounds and 492 block shots. She now resides in the South Lakes High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
Christy’s star continued to shine and rise at the University of Maryland it was here she scored 1,679 points (second most in school history) grabbed 723 rebounds ( 4th in school history), and played in 123 games ( No. 1 in school history). In 1989 she help Maryland win their 8th ACC title and led the team to their 3rd Final 4 appearance. She was named First Team All-ACC and Kodak All-East Region while leading the team in scoring with 533 points.
WNBA had not arrived on the pro basketball scene so she took her ball and headed overseas for parts unknown. First stop, Pistoria, Italy and then on to Fribourg, Switzerland where she spent two years, she averaged an eye-popping 37 points a game and 12 rebounds, with a career high 48 points.
She returned home and put her priorities in order, family, coaching and broadcasting.
Her first coaching jobs would be at George Mason (assistant), Maryland (assistant), and Georgetown (assistant). She returned to her alma mater South Lakes in 2005. The school was on life support (0-21). She would become a breath of fresh air and add new life to the program.
In 2009 Christy was named the Liberty District Coach of the Year and there was no stopping her now. In 2013 South Lakes qualified for state tournament with a 24-6 record for the first time since Christy took them there in 1986.
She was named the “Women in Sports Coach of the Year” which recognized the top female coach in any sport in Fairfax County. In 2014 South Lakes won the District Championship, their first in 27 years.
The Round Ball Report experience would lay the foundation for her career in sports broadcasting.
There would be many bumps in the road as it related to the press media table access. The early Verizon Center PR Media staff treated The Round Ball Report and minority media like “Second Class” media outlets. It brought back memories of the old home of the Bullets at Capitol Center in the 70s. The press table was split down the middle at half-court, white media on the left and black media on the right. I know this is history some would rather forget.
When we were colored: WHUR Radio’s the late Ron Sutton and I share a laugh at Bullet’s press table in the 70s.
Enter, Brian McIntyre (NBA Media VP) and Scott Hall (Wizards PR) these two men have open doors for women and minority media as it related to an air of fairness at Verizon Center (I can only speak for Verizon Center). Scott checked his ego at the door and was willing to listen to our grevancies.
Christy had never been to an NBA All-Star Game and had been denied credentials for the game in LA in 1994. She ask me to help her get there.
Mr. McIntyre and Scott picked up the ball from that point on and Christy and a crew from the Round Ball Report were credential and were able to attend their first All-Star game.
I suspected that Phil was on the way out when I heard him, Christy and Steve Buckhantz broadcasting a Wizard’s game together last month. I told my wife Hattie, “Phil Chenier is a Dead Man Walking!”
Phil supported my non-profit Kids In Trouble/Inside Sports endeavors, celebrity tennis tournaments and Christmas Toy Parties, etc.
1982 Inside Sports Celebrity Tennis Tournament: Back row L-R: Adrian Dantley, Carlos Terry, Adrian Branch, Earl Monroe, Phil Chenier, Betsy Stockard, Hattie T, Renee Pousaint, Timmy Newsome, Donnie Simpson, William Outlaw, Bad News Barnes, Craig Brewer, Bernie Bickerstaff, Freddy Scott, Kevin Warren. Kneeling: Thurston McLain, HBell, Calvin Woodland and little Phil Chenier, Jr.
He was a great jump shooting guard for the 1978-79 Washington Bullets champioship team, but his career as a color analyst was mediocre at best. He was definitely bless to have lasted 33 years in a cut-throat business (hats off to Ted Leonis). His jersey number definitely should be retired after 41 years with the organization.
Owner Abe Polin and his favorite player Wes Unseld share a championship moment immediately after the game (1978-79).
The man who marched to his own drummer Elvin Hayes reflects on the year with me and Nike rep John Phillips at a Nike reception for the champions at the downtown Hilton Hotel in NW DC.
Elvin later visits Nike store in Georgetown
Christy is the logical choice to replace Phil, she has paid her dues and deserves the job hands down. I could be wrong and if I am, we have not progressed as much as I thought.
Black slaves were the first professional athlete, their professional origin took place during slavery when they carried their owner’s plantation’s colors into the boxing ring, on horseback and foot races in the hundred yard dash and beyond. There were wages being bet, it was plantation verus plantation. This was how slave owners spend their leisure time entertaining themselves at the expense of their slaves. Some slaves won their freedom as a result of these contests and some lost their lives.
The games continue in today’s modern day pro sports where the plantation mentality still exist in the sky suites and on the playing fields and arenas across America. Today freedom is won through something called “Free Agency!” And some pro athletes really think they are FREE.
The best example; NFL QB Colin Kapernick is a “Free Agent” but he cannot find a job in the NFL, all because he decided to kneel during the playing of the National anthem to protest the inhuman treatment of people of color. Has anyone seen my old friends Vince Lombardi (NFL), Al Davis (NFL), Edward Bennett Williams (NFL), Dan Rooney (NFL), Walter Brown (NBA)–I wonder where have they all gone?
Ninety-nine percent of the owners of these teams in 2017 are still all white males with one black face added to the club—Michael Jordan (NBA).
NBA black players are now being ripped off in the name of Black History. For example; in the NBA there is All-World Lebron James and NBA pioneer Earl Lloyd. LeBron’s selling out is no different than Michael Jordan. Michael responded to critics who question him for not supporting a black politician in his home state of North Carolina. He said, “White folks buy Nikes to!”
Since the passing of my friend (now everybody’s friend) Muhammad Ali, everyone is an expert on the trial and tribulations of the Greatest. LeBron James is the latest designated expert chosen by HBO and someone or something called “The Ali Estate!”
My question, what does Lebron James know about the life and times of Muhammad Ali? Only what he has read and learned from he say, she say! He has no up close and first hand experiences to share with Ali fans all over the world. This is President Trump’s version of “Fake News!”
I am still waiting to hear Lebron James’ explanation and excuse for selling out Muhammad Ali and why does he think he is an expert on Muhammad Ali!
The group that brought the rights to his name and likeness for 50 million dollars and 20% of the monies generated from the advertising in 2006 are now The Ali Estate. If you look closely, the group resembles the one-percent, NFL, NBA and MLB owners.
LeBron James is now being called The Greatest basketball player in the world. He must think that makes equivalent to Muhammad Ali, nothing could be further from the truth. If he continues on this path as producer of the HBO documentary as it relates to The Greatest, it will prove he is the fraud several in the sports media are calling him. It has nothing to do with his basketball skills and everything to do with his qualities as a human being.
There are only a few selected friends and boxing personalities who can give First Hand up close experiences as it relates to Muhammad Ali, his brother Rahman Ali, R & B Legend Lloyd Price, boxing promoter Don King, Business Manager Gene Kilroy, NFL legend Jim Brown and yours truly Harold Bell. Not one of them can provide the sit down one of a kind video (copyrights) interview I had with him after his historical “Rumble in the Jungle” fight with George Foreman in 1974. Its the only one on one interview he allowed during his entire boxing career with a black eye.
We can eliminate his faithful servant and brother Rahman because of his emotional state brought on by a “Dysfunctional Family.” Rahman was responsible for my All-Access to his brother at the height of his career. My friend Lloyd Price, I have no clue as it relates to his participation in this HBO project, if I had to guess I would say ZERO! Don King is persona non grata. He owes Ali his boxing life and career, his Thank You was to steal from him. My man Gene Kilroy was Ali’s business manager and friend its anybody’s guess whether he will participate. He once told me, “Harold you could have been a millionaire if you had played the game, they would have been calling Howard Cosell the next Harold Bell.”
This brings me to my “Friend” NFL legend Jim Brown, I am sure he is in Lebron’s camp. He was one of Ali’s closest friends and Jim would sell anybody out for a dollar–I was there when he sold out NFL legend Willie Wood out in 2007 via Willie’s lawyer Bob Schmitz for a mere $57,000 (peanuts), Willie was suffering from dementria and is now living his life out in a nursing home on Connecticut Avenue in NW DC.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAZVZjGeYpY / setting the record straight
Top Photo: Jim Brown and HB Bottom Photo: Attorney Bob Schmitz and Willie Wood
In the NBA pioneer Earl Lloyd’s story “The First to Play” is now being sold by a scam artist by the name of Arka Senguta of Indian descent. The first players to be sucked-in so far are former San Antonio swingman Michael Finley, active players, Tony Parker, Kiwa Leonard and NY Knicks star Camelo Anthony are the players on record who have fallen prey to the scam so far. Senguta has a couple of brothers disguised as black men fronting “the documentary” with names like Coodie and Chike. They are send into the black community making the production look black as he calls the shots from afar. He has a female partner in this rip-off who goes by the name of Jo-Lee. Warning to all NBA players if you see this team of scam artist coming your way with “The First to Play” hide your wallet, here in the DC area they already taken advantage of Earl Lloyd’s friends in his hometown of Alexandria, Va.
Senguta’s first victim in Alexandria was researcher Ms. Cha Bah. She gathered the stats, and spent untold hours traveling to libraries in and around DC, Maryland and Virginia. She found the men who were familiar with Earl Lloyd the basketball player and Earl Lloyd the man! These men were legends in their own right took the time to sit around for several hours talking about the trials & tribulations of a home town boy who made good. Ms. Bah has been trying to collect her fee of $2000,00 for more than two-years with little or no success. She has dwindle the bill down to $1,300.00. Mr. Senguta keeps nickle and diming her like this was some kind of game.
I had mixed emotions about participating in the documentary, but volunteered to participate. I was not asking for anything or expecting anything, except I wanted to see the documentary a success.
I first met Earl Lloyd when I was attending Spingarn HS in DC it was in the 50s after he had already signed an NBA contract making him the first black player to play in a game in league history. His older brother lived in NW DC and Earl would often visit him. He played in pick-up basketball on the Parkview and Bannecker playgrounds near his brother’s home. In those pick-up games you could the DC elite, NBA great Elgin Baylor and Harlem Globetrotter Tarzan Cooper. There were playground legends, like Daddy Grace, Willie Jones and NFL great Willie Wood also showcasing their skills.
Earl was drafted out of West Virginia State by NBA icon Red Auerbach who was then coaching the Washington Caps. He played in only 7 games for Red when the team folded in January 1951.
Earl was picked up off waivers after serving in the U S Army by the Syracuse Nationals, where he played 6 seasons. In 1955 he and teammate Jim Tucker became the first blacks to play on an NBA Championship team. Syracuse beat the Ft. Wayne Pistons 4 games to 3 for the NBA title. Earl’s best year as a pro was 1955 when he average 10 points and 7 rebounds a game. These stats hardly qualified him for the NBA Hall of Fame. He was more of a “Enforcer and Hatchet Man” for the Nationals. In the 1953-54 seasons he led the league in fouls and disqualifications.
He was finally inducted in the NBA Hall of Fame as a “Contributor” which meant he was inducted for being the “First” to play in a game and “First” to particpate in and win a NBA Championship along with teammate Jim Tucker. The induction took place 2003 fifty-five years after retirement from the NBA. This was after I spearheaded a campaign with the late NBA legendary coach, Red Auerbach and the late Washington Times sports columnist Dick Heller. During his acceptance speech he never mention Red Auerbach how Red was intrumental in getting him inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame. Standing beside him was his presenter, Dave “Judas’ Bing.
Top: Earl Lloyd and Red Auerbach during Black History tribute. Bottom: Earl Lloyd and Dave Bing at hall of fame induction
It bothers me when I see a pro athlete like LeBron James selling out his own history out at the expense of one of the greatest athletes and human beings the world has ever known, Muhammad Ali. This kind of selfishness and prostitution display by Lebron will only tarnish his NBA image. Ali was always about being INCLUSIVE and not EXCLUSIVE, but when you have Jim Brown in your ear that is par for the course.
Ali’s wife Lonnie has no imput as it relates to this documentary. She is nothing more than a “Figure Head” that sits on the Board of Directors, she has no vote.
The eye/witness account of her non-participation comes from the CEO & Publisher of Black Men in America.com, Gary Johnson. Gary shared a plane ride with Lonnie Ali several years ago and she confessed “I have no vote on the Board of Directors!”
The Rev. Gary Johnson (coincident) is the leader of the Southern Christian Leader Conference (SCLC) in Miami, Florida. In February of 2017 he told me in Washington, DC “Lonnie Ali was in my office recently hustling photographs of her and Muhammad Ali” she wanted a donation for the photo signed by her and said, ‘With my signature this photo would be worth $5,000 on the open market.’ Rev. Johnson said, ‘If she wanted more than $50 we were going to have a problem!’ I am assuming he donated 50 bucks.
The problem with this documentary by HBO and Lebron James is when you read in a press release and it says, “This production has the blessings of the Ali Estate!” It makes you wonder who is the Ali Estate, evidently it is not his brother Rahman, his wife Lonnie (no vote) or his famous daughter Laila.
Who can you trust with Black American History, certainly not HBO and Lebron James or Arka Sengupta!
Don’t expect any follow-up from Mike Wise, Michael Wilbon, David Aldridge, Bryant Gumble, James Brown, Charles Barkley, or Stephen A. Smith, etc. The bottom-line, this story will reside under the banner of “Fake News!” Hopefully, Muhammad Ali and Earl Lloyd both can RIP. The TRUTH will surface!
In April 2017 Martin is gone and Willie Wood has dementria living out his life in a nursing home in DC
“Has anyone seen my old friends Abraham, Martin, John, Bobby, Megar, Malcolm, or Muhammad—can anyone tell me where they have all gone. They freed a lot of people, the good die young.” I just look around and I feel all alone.”
These are the lyrics from “My Old Friend Abraham!” written and performed by song writer Dion Mucci.
Ray Charles, Smokey Robinson, Whitney Houston, Marvin Gaye, and Mahalia Jackson all followed his lead, but their song was never hearn among today’s black leaders.
On April 4, 1968, I was standing on the corner of 9th & U streets in North West Washington, DC with my co-worker, NFL great Willie Wood.
We had just had a sandwich in Che Maurice a popular in-crowd restaurant in the Nation’s Capitol. Willie and I were working for the DC Recreation & Parks as Roving Leaders (Youth Gang Task Force). It was a bright sun shiny day and we decided to just hang out on the corner and enjoy the beautiful weather.
I remember folks were just driving by and honking their horns and yelling at Willie who was a legendary athlete in the city and a member of the World Champion Green Bay Packers football team.
I know some of you are asking the question, “What was an NFL player doing working for DC Recreation & Parks?”
In 1968 NFL players were not making the asinine money NFL players are making today. Willie needed a second job to supplement his income as an NFL player. During the off-season he returned home to work as a Roving Leader or teach school.
Suddenly, someone drove by and yelled “Harold they just shot Dr. King in Memphis.” On April 4, 2017 I am left wondering where has he gone? We stood on that U street corner never knowing that it would be a day we would never forget!
By Publisher Gary A. Johnson, and staff of Black Men In America.com
Posted March 14, 2017
Hattie and Harold with President Nixon in Oval Office (1969) Hattie and Harold in the Oval Office at the Richard Nixon Library (2017)
This is NOT a Fake News Story.
Harold and his wife Hattie recently returned from the Richard Nixon Library. They were invited to visit the museum on President’s Day weekend (February 21, 2017 Black History Month). Harold wrote about his trip for a chapter in his upcoming book (The Richard Nixon Library: A 60-Year Journey Back When a House Was Not A Home) that he has agreed to share.
I’ve spoken with Harold about his relationship with Richard Nixon for several years now. I would have NEVER, EVER, EVER, pictured Richard Nixon in the way that Harold has described him. I don’t think I’m alone in this view. So let me share some background information about Harold and Richard Nixon before you read Harold’s summary article about his trip to the Richard Nixon Library.
In 1957, Harold Bell was a student-athlete attending Spingarn High School in Northeast Washington. He caddied on the weekends to help his mother a single parent make ends meet for their family that included his two brothers (a 4th brother lived with their grandmother).
He was a caddy at the Burning Tree Golf Course in Bethesda, Maryland where he carried golf clubs for Vice-President Richard Nixon and Attorney General William Rogers. As Harold tells the story, the first outing took place about three weeks after he started to caddy at the course. As they headed for the first tee the Vice President asked if he was ready for an “adventure”? Harold said, “Yes, sir.” Later, he explained that he did not fully understand what Nixon really meant when he said “adventure,” but after three holes, he clearly understood. Nixon’s golf balls spent more time in the woods and trees than most birds and bees. Mr. Rogers was a pretty decent golfer and he was teaching the Vice-President how to play.
It turned out to be a long evening, Nixon and Rogers played 18 holes of golf instead of nine as was intended when they left the first tee. It was now late and it was dark outside and Harold needed a ride to the bus stop to get back home. Here’s his account of what happened next.
“The likelihood of him getting a ride to town before 10 p.m. did not look good. He would probably end up catching a ride with the help (cooks or locker-room men). But suddenly the Vice President and the Attorney General came bouncing out of the clubhouse, and before he could say, “Good night,” the Vice President had offered him a ride into town. It had never crossed his mind to ask for a ride, even though members routinely gave caddies rides into town to catch the bus. The “adventure” became many more adventures and the development of a lasting friendship with then Vice-President Nixon. During the evenings of golf and the rides to the bus from 1957-1958, Mr. Nixon and Harold talked about The Game Called Life. He wanted to know where he lived, how many brothers and sisters he had, what school he attended, what sports did he play? Harold was caught completely off guard. Here was the Vice President of the United States taking an interest in a poor little black kid from a housing project in Northeast Washington, DC. The one thing that he wanted to brag about was how great an athlete he was. He bragged about how he played three sports at Spingarn High School in NE DC and was a starter in all three. That first conversation was kind of awkward. As Harold bragged about his athletic feats Mr. Nixon turned and looked him in the eye and said, “That’s great, but how are your grades?” He saw Attorney General Rogers peering in the rear view mirror waiting for his response. He put his head between his legs and said, not good sir, not good. Mr. Nixon’s response was, “Harold, you have got to do better. Your education will take you further than football, basketball or baseball.”
It would be 10 years later before he would see Mr. Nixon again. This time he would be President of the United States and he was touring the riot-burned streets in the Shaw neighborhood, where coincidently, Harold was now working as a Roving Leader for the DC Department of Recreation & Parks. His work was with at-risk children and youth gangs.
His chances of getting a chance to speak with his friend did not look promising. Now there were two to three Secret Service men deep, he remembered the good old days when there were no Secret Service. He tried to get one of the Secret Service men’s attention and yelled “Tell him its Harold Bell I use to caddy for him at Burning Tree Golf Course.” According to Harold, the Secret Service man’s response was, ‘Write him a letter’ and he did.
Two months later Harold received a letter from the White House and President Nixon. Mr. Nixon extended an invitation to Harold and his wife Hattie, to join him and then-Secretary of State William Rogers at the White House for lunch. In 1969, Bell received a presidential appointment to become the first civilian to head a Domestic Actions Program on a military facility in the United States (Bolling AFB in NE DC).
Harold could not remember Mr. Nixon ever asking him if he was a Republican or a Democrat. Richard Nixon accepted Harold Bell for who he was. Nixon also cared about Harold Bell as a person and mentored him during their walks around the golf course and the rides to his bus. He was more interested in him becoming a decent human being instead of a pro athlete.
Many blacks for decades question Richard Nixon’s civil rights record as did the Shaw/Cardozo residents who seemed to be in shocked when he paid them a visit in 1969. There was little doubt in Harold’s mind about his visit—he knew Nixon cared. Harold said, “President Nixon was not born with a Silver Spoon in his mouth.”
Harold and his wife Hattie have spent over 50+ years working with inner-city youth in the Washington, DC area through their organization “Kids In Trouble.” The benefactors are in the thousands. He was the first to encourage pro athletes, judges, entertainers and media personalities to give back to the community.
In 2016 he put the Nixon Library on his “Bucket List,” February 2017 would mark the 60th Anniversary when he first met the Vice-President and his golfing partner Attorney General William Rogers. They first met in February 1957 at the Burning Tree golf course.
Harold has never forgotten President Nixon provided him with a platform to become a legendary youth advocate and a pioneer in radio and television sports talk shows in Washington, DC. His “Inside Sports” talk format not only changed the way we talk sports in America, it revolutionized the way we talk sports. It was on his sports talk show he coined the phrase, “Every black face I see is not my brother and every white I see is not my enemy.”
In 1969 President Nixon would introduce him to his White House mentor, the late Director of Communications, Herb Klein. Mr. Klein and his staff of Mary Ann Snow and Stanley Scott would help open doors for him he never thought possible.
Mr. Klein left the White House in 1973 a year before the resignation of President Nixon. Years later he came back to DC for a newspaper conference. He had returned to the newspaper business (the business that he loved) with the San Diego Union Tribune as its editor. He invited Harold to have lunch with him at Union Station.
Herb Klein was a man of integrity, honesty and a class act. He encouraged Harold to send his DVDs (especially, the one on one interview with Muhammad Ali) and CDs, photos, newspaper and magazine clippings to the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda so that they could be added to the Nixon archives.
Mr. Klein said, “Harold your outstanding accomplishments during and after the Presidency of Richard Nixon should all be on display in the library, I am not aware of anyone in the White House matching your accomplishments in the community and sports media”.
The one thing that President Nixon, Herb Klein and Harold had in common was—sports. During his rounds of golf the Vice-President would give him an earful as it related to updates on current events taking place in the world of sports. Harold was surprise when he found out Nixon was on the football team at Whittier College, he never mention he had once played the game himself. Mr. Klein was just as knowledgeable when it came to sports. He was the sports editor of the school newspaper for the University of Southern Calalifornia.
He was instrumental in getting Harold his first ever NFL press credentials. The credentials were for the historical matchup between the Washington Redskins and the undefeated Miami Dolphins in Los Angeles in 1973. The undefeated Dolphins won 14-7 and they are still today the only team to go undefeated in league history.
In April 1994, when Harold discovered his mentor and friend President Richard M. Nixon had gone home to be with the Lord, he wrote a thank you column in the Washington Post (see link below).
In October 1994, Harold would receive a letter and invitation from Nixon Library Director John Taylor. The letter read, “Needless to say, we are honored to have your papers in President Nixon’s library, and although he has surely heard your “Thank you” from his present vantage point, he would definitely direct us to add that this building is not only his “home” but yours to. Whenever, therefore, your paths lead to the Los Angeles/Orange County area, enabling you to make a homecoming to the Nixon Library, please let us know so that we can have the joy of welcoming you and thanking you again in person.”
The common thread: Nixon wearing jersey No. 12 Whittier College and Harold wearing No. 82 Winston-Salem State
Here’s a letter written by the 37th President to his friend Harold Bell
It was good to hear from you again after so many years and I am glad to know you have almost completed your college program, and are working here in the District with the Department of Recreation.
Your reflections on our late evening golf at Burning Tree brought back wonderful memories, and I well remember our discussions at the time. Like too many youngsters you had to begin your working career early and were forced to bypass the good times and games that most boys and girls your age were able to enjoy. What makes me very proud of you is that you have returned to the young people whose lives today resemble your own early years, and that you are dedicated to giving them help along the difficult road of life. They sorely need the inspiration and the example that you are able to give them.
It is my prayer as President that the hope for something better will always be with all our boys and girls as it was with you. You may have been suffering, but you were determined not to let it get you down. I am glad you are there to help maintain the spark of hope for these youngsters and I promise you I shall always work to keep that hope alive and to make progress possible for all of our people.
I would enjoy seeing you again and I hope it will not be too long before we have a chance to say hello.
With warm personal regards,
[Mr. Harold K. Bell, 1204-42nd Place NE., Washington, D.C. 20019]
Note: The letter was dated June 25, 1969, and released July 11, 1969. Mr. Bell, accompanied by his wife, Hattie visited the President at the White House on the afternoon of July 11, 1969.
Here’s a letter written by Harold Bell to Richard Nixon
Mr. Bell’s letter, which was dated May 12, 1969, and released by the White House Press Office along with the President’s letter on July 11, 1969, read as follows:
Dear Mr. President:
It has been a little more than ten years ago since we last met and there might be some doubt as to my identity. Mr. President, my name is Harold K. Bell, I was your golf caddy at the Burning Tree Golf Course. I remember staying out of sight from Mr. Elbin until you and Mr. Rogers arrived for one of your late evening rounds of golf. I would then pop up, hoping that Mr. Elbin would call me for the bags and he always did. I think he knew what was going on, but he never said anything.
Things were pretty tough for me then and I don’t quite know where I got the strength to keep going, but I am thankful that I did. I think that some of the strength came from our conversations as we rode to catch my bus at Wisconsin and Massachusetts Avenues, NW. I am saying all this because I feel everyone needs to know that there is someone who cares, whether it be the Vice President or the newspaperman on the corner. Mr. President, I was not at all surprised at your recent appearance on Seventh Street. I expected nothing less, because I know that you do care about the welfare of your fellow man.
Since I left Winston-Salem College in North Carolina in 1963, I have been working with youths. My present position is that of a Roving Leader (GS-9) for the Department of Recreation, serving the Cardozo area. At this time, I need only a semester to complete my B.A. degree and I plan to continue my education this summer at D.C. Teachers College. My career has provided me with many opportunities, but the greatest satisfaction I have had is to be able to show other disadvantaged youths that there is a brighter road, and that there are people who want to help them if they are willing to help themselves. I have firsthand knowledge of this, as I can remember the moments of frustration in my life which centered around the agony of poverty.
Sir, I have never been a backslapper or hand shaker, but I felt an impulse to write and let you know that I am pleased to see you back in the Nation’s Capital as our country’s President. Most Negroes in the United States are not aware of your past, which surely was not a bed of roses. If they were, I am most certain that they would come to realize that you, as an individual, have had time to accumulate more of an insight into America’s problems than any Chief Executive before you.
I am writing this letter, Mr. President, to tell you that if the people give you a chance, and I don’t mean blacks and whites, but all the people, they will find out, as I did what a great person you are. Everyone seems obsessed with this racial thing, and talking about black power and white power, but what we need is people power, individuals pulling together to make this a stronger Nation. So here is wishing you all the luck and success there is in the world.
I have enclosed some newspaper clippings which relate to my work as a Roving Leader.
HAROLD K. BELL
- You must be shooting in the low 70’s now (smile) H.K.B.
[The President, the White House, Washington, D.C. 20500]
Citation: Richard Nixon: “Exchange of Letters with Harold K. Bell of the District of Columbia.,” July 11, 1969. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=2124.
The first encounter and the memories at Burning Tree Golf Course would stay with me forever, but the Nixon Library was anything but home. During our visit there in February 2017 there was no trace of Harold and Hattie Bell to found. The only traces of black involvement, was a Black History Month display in the entrance of the museum. In a short video introduction there was also a cameo appearance by Robert Brown, who was a Special Assistant to the President.
Arthur Fletcher, the Godfather of Affirmative Action and Civil Rights, served as President Nixon’s Assistant Secretary of Labor. He served in the Ford, Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations. He was out front and carried the spears during The Philadelphia Plan. The Philadelphia Plan required government contractors in Philadelphia to hire minority workers. John Wilks was a also a mover and shaker in the administration. Another key figure in my association with the President was Rob Odle, who was a Staff Assistant to the President. Rob also continues to serve pro bono as the general counsel of the Richard Nixon Foundation at the presidential library in Yorba Linda, California.
President Nixon is still bigger than life as Harold stands in front of a portrait of his mentor at the Richard Nixon Library
In July 2007, I received a telephone call from a staff member of Senator Bob Dole’s office inviting me to attend a tribute dinner in honor of President Nixon sponsored by “The February Group,” a group of Nixon White House loyalists. The tribute dinner would be held in a couple hours, I said, “Thanks, but no thanks.” I explained that I had plans to play tennis and was on my way out of door. I hung up the phone and as I was looking for my keys the phone rang again, this time it was Senator Dole.
Senator Dole refused to take no for an answer, and said, “Harold, the President’s daughter Tricia is going to be there and she wants to meet you. She read your thank you column in the Washington Post.”
I remembered Senator Dole had inserted the column into the Congressional Record. I relented an agreed to attend. I was the only brother of color on the guest list. Shortly after my arrival Senator Dole invited me to the podium to speak to the February Group and Tricia Nixon. As I started to speak a wave of emotions came over me. I could hardly get a word out. I brought the house down when described the President’s golf on how his balls spend more time in the woods and trees than the birds and bees. I was given a standing ovation as I left the podium. Tricia, embraced me and thanked me for coming. It was a great and emotional evening.
You can watch me speaking to the February Group and Tricia in the video below:
Hattie and Harold in fronth of the home and birthplace of Richard M. Nixon
The first encounter and the memories at Burning Tree Golf Course would last him for a life time, but the Nixon Library was anything but home. During his visit there in February 2017 there was no trace of Harold and Hattie Bell to found. The only traces of black involvement, was a Black History Month display in the entrance of the museum. In a short video introduction there was also a cameo appearance by Robert Brown.
Arthur Fletcher was the vanguard of the Civil Rights movement with the Nixon White House. He was out front and carried the spears during “The Philadelphia Plan”! John Wilks was a mover and shaker in the administration.
Thanks to Library Communications Director Joe Lopez (on far right) and his great staff, the visit to his “Home away from home” was not a total blackout!
Harold Bell is the Godfather of Sports Talk radio and television in Washington, DC. Throughout the mid-sixties, seventies and eighties, Harold embarked upon a relatively new medium–sports talk radio with classic interviews with athletes and sports celebrities. The show and format became wildly popular. Harold has been an active force fighting for the rights of children for over 50+ years with the help of his wife through their charity Kids In Trouble, Inc. To learn more about Harold Bell visit his official website The Original Inside Sports.com. You can also see the video below.