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Was Tex Rickard REALLY Worried About Race Riots?

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  • Was Tex Rickard REALLY Worried About Race Riots?

    So I'm reading "Unforgivable Blackness" and at one point it states that Rickard was interested in a rematch between Jack Johnson and Jim Jeffries. Huh??? I thought the race riots put him off from such championship fights.

    I went searching through the papers and I find Jim Jeffries saying 5 days after the fight that he may be interested in another go with Johnson, and Rickard around that same time (6 days after) apparently trying to get Jeff to agree. Here is one of the articles I found on it, 6 months after the first fight:

    Jan. 14th, 1911
    [Content is Protected, Please Register For Free To Unlock This Content]



    So as far as I know, the race riots happened immediately after the fight. But about 5 days later, and as much as 6 months after, Tex Rickard seems to be willing to risk more race riots with a rematch? That doesn't seem to show very much concern over the riots at all.

    Another article also quotes him as saying (10 days after the Johnson/Jeffries fight), "The people who are opposing the exhibition of the [Johnson/Jeffries] fight films are crazy." I do believe that he had some financial interest in the fight films, but this also seems to speak against him caring at all about the race riots that took place.

    I began searching for any mention of him not wanting to stage the Wills/Dempsey fight due to race riots, and the only statement I could find by him regarding this was in 1926. (In the same article, NY Commissioner Farley says, "As for the dangers of race riots, that is bunk."). We know that the public was calling for this fight at least since '22.

    I can provide all of the articles if needed (I don't like the way the articles seem HUGE now and take up so much space, but if anyone wants them, I will post them.


    So what do you guys think? Was the fear of race riots just an excuse by Rickard? To me, it doesn't seem like he gave a damn as long as he was getting paid.
    Last edited by travestyny; 03-07-2021, 03:16 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by travestyny View Post
    So I'm reading "Unforgivable Blackness" and at one point it states that Rickard was interested in a rematch between Jack Johnson and Jim Jeffries. Huh??? I thought the race riots put him off from such championship fights.

    I went searching through the papers and I find Jim Jeffries saying 5 days after the fight that he may be interested in another go with Johnson, and Rickard around that same time (6 days after) apparently trying to get Jeff to agree. Here is one of the articles I found on it, 6 months after the first fight:

    Jan. 14th, 1911
    [Content is Protected, Please Register For Free To Unlock This Content]



    So as far as I know, the race riots happened immediately after the fight. But about 5 days later, and as much as 6 months after, Tex Rickard seems to be willing to risk more race riots with a rematch? That doesn't seem to show very much concern over the riots at all.

    Another article also quotes him as saying (10 days after the Johnson/Jeffries fight), "The people who are opposing the exhibition of the [Johnson/Jeffries] fight films are crazy." I do believe that he had some financial interest in the fight films, but this also seems to speak against him caring at all about the race riots that took place.

    I began searching for any mention of him not wanting to stage the Wills/Dempsey fight due to race riots, and the only statement I could find by him regarding this was in 1926. (In the same article, NY Commissioner Farley says, "As for the dangers of race riots, that is bunk."). We know that the public was calling for this fight at least since '22.

    I can provide all of the articles if needed (I don't like the way the articles seem HUGE now and take up so much space, but if anyone wants them, I will post them.


    So what do you guys think? Was the fear of race riots just an excuse by Rickard? To me, it doesn't seem like he gave a damn as long as he was getting paid.
    I believe Rickard's motivation is obvious - - - JJ and the White Supremist left the HW Championship (and Rickard) in the weeds for five years. No body was making any money. Wills was a liability except to those who had money invested in him (NYSAC/Tammany Hall). Justice wasn't worth all that controversy and loss of revenue.

    As far as the "riots" go everyone used them when it fit their agenda. The Progressives' in 1910 used them when they tried (and failed) to have boxing ruled phonography and unhealthy to the public good; used by the White Supremist in 1912 when they pushed through the interstate commerce prohibition against fight films to cut off JJ's revenue stream, used in the 1920s by Boston and New Jersey (and even New York for a while) when they shut down the use of venues for 'mixed fights.' Everyone used the "riots' when it fit their needs.

    Why are you always trying to point out Dempsey/Kearns/Rickard/s duplicity in a world full of duplicity?

    Also stop quoting Farley, he was a Tammany Hall *****, as was the entire NYSAC; they owned a piece of Wills contract, that's why when offered a fight in Montreal (from Kearns) Wills' people said no. Wills was to only fight in the East where Tammany could make their money. They (NYSAC) weren't interested in justice just money.

    And yes I get it, you have said it before, a bunch of sycophant journalists (who wanted access) gave Farley an award for his supposed great integrity. To this I offer two arguments:

    One, do you think in 100 years from now someone will be able to pull out of his ass an award calling Donald Trump a great, honest man full of integrity? You know they will, they are showering that man with those awards as we speak.

    Second haven't you ever watched the Wizard of Oz? When the Wizard gives the Tin Man his "heart" he says to the Tin Man 'you don't need a heart just a testimonial, great men give them to each other all the time.' Even in 1897 Frank Baum could see through the BS you keep falling for (probably because it fits your agenda.) Farley was a Tammany Hall *****.

    Finally stop calling them "race riots" - they weren't riots, they were White on Black violence. Whites attacking Blacks and Blacks trying to defend themselves. That's not a riot. By calling them 'riots" you are playing right into the hands of the early 20th century racist newspapers who were trying to claim the violence was caused by both sides, it wasn't. You know what I mean the same bull*hit Trump tried to pitch with "there was violence on both sides."

    Comment


    • #3
      - -Eenie, menie, minie, Weensie, do she even care about 50 yrs ago today?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by QueensburyRules View Post
        - -Eenie, menie, minie, Weensie, do she even care about 50 yrs ago today?
        That fight was a snooze - Frazier throwing pitty pat punches- Ali refusing to engage - one exciting round (11th) and one flash KD (15th) in a round where almost nothing else happened.

        One exciting round and one flash KD doesn't make a fight of the century; very overrated fight.

        Comment


        • #5
          No he wasn’t, he just wanted to protect his meal ticket

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Willie Pep 229 View Post

            I believe Rickard's motivation is obvious - - - JJ and the White Supremist left the HW Championship (and Rickard) in the weeds for five years. No body was making any money. Wills was a liability except to those who had money invested in him (NYSAC/Tammany Hall). Justice wasn't worth all that controversy and loss of revenue.

            As far as the "riots" go everyone used them when it fit their agenda. The Progressives' in 1910 used them when they tried (and failed) to have boxing ruled phonography and unhealthy to the public good; used by the White Supremist in 1912 when they pushed through the interstate commerce prohibition against fight films to cut off JJ's revenue stream, used in the 1920s by Boston and New Jersey (and even New York for a while) when they shut down the use of venues for 'mixed fights.' Everyone used the "riots' when it fit their needs.

            Why are you always trying to point out Dempsey/Kearns/Rickard/s duplicity in a world full of duplicity?

            Also stop quoting Farley, he was a Tammany Hall *****, as was the entire NYSAC; they owned a piece of Wills contract, that's why when offered a fight in Montreal (from Kearns) Wills' people said no. Wills was to only fight in the East where Tammany could make their money. They (NYSAC) weren't interested in justice just money.

            And yes I get it, you have said it before, a bunch of sycophant journalists (who wanted access) gave Farley an award for his supposed great integrity. To this I offer two arguments:

            One, do you think in 100 years from now someone will be able to pull out of his ass an award calling Donald Trump a great, honest man full of integrity? You know they will, they are showering that man with those awards as we speak.

            Second haven't you ever watched the Wizard of Oz? When the Wizard gives the Tin Man his "heart" he says to the Tin Man 'you don't need a heart just a testimonial, great men give them to each other all the time.' Even in 1897 Frank Baum could see through the BS you keep falling for (probably because it fits your agenda.) Farley was a Tammany Hall *****.

            Finally stop calling them "race riots" - they weren't riots, they were White on Black violence. Whites attacking Blacks and Blacks trying to defend themselves. That's not a riot. By calling them 'riots" you are playing right into the hands of the early 20th century racist newspapers who were trying to claim the violence was caused by both sides, it wasn't. You know what I mean the same bull*hit Trump tried to pitch with "there was violence on both sides."
            I'm honestly not really sure what you mean by this post.

            Why did the fight leave Rickard and the HW championship "in the weeds?" Johnson was getting pretty good offers (around $30,000 like he wanted) and apparently Rickard was busy trying to get the rematch. The HW championship was owned by a Black fighter and there was to be a parade of White fighters to try to take it from him. It's not like everything just stopped. My only point was that it didn't seem that Rickard had any problem with a rematch, nor did he have a problem with the fight film being shown, so I'm not buying the story that he was so worried about the riots. (By the way, thanks for the lecture on not calling them "race riots." lol. I'm well aware that they were simply attacks on Black folks, but they are often referred to as race riots so I simply called them that. I didn't know I had to be so technical).

            As for the whole Farley stuff, I don't know why it bothers you that he wanted to make the fight. If you agree that Wills was the #1 contender and deserved the shot, then why does it bother you that Farley wanted to get him the fight? For the sake of argument let's say that Farley wanted the Dempsey/Wills fight for all the wrong reasons and he was a devil. So what??????? It was the fight that should have been made, right?


            Sorry...I just didn't follow much of what you were trying to say.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Oldskoolg View Post
              No he wasn’t, he just wanted to protect his meal ticket
              This is exactly how I see it honestly.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Oldskoolg View Post
                No he wasn’t, he just wanted to protect his meal ticket
                If you mean Dempsey, Yes and no. He had Wills under contract and Wills liked Rickard; they made good money together (E.g. Firpo/ Sharkey and a few Negro Championship fights).

                If he had matched Dempsey against Wills and Wills wins, Rickard makes a second small fortune promoting the rematch. But I don't believe he ever would have.

                I don't believe it was a fear that Wills might beat Dempsey that held him back, it was a fear that a Black man might beat Dempsey. IMHO Rickard wouldn't have cared if Dempsey got beat, so long as he (and always did) have the opponent under an extended contract, (and after the Johnson fiasco, was also White.)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Willie Pep 229 View Post

                  If you mean Dempsey, Yes and no. He had Wills under contract and Wills liked Rickard; they made good money together (E.g. Firpo/ Sharkey and a few Negro Championship fights).

                  If he had matched Dempsey against Wills and Wills wins, Rickard makes a second small fortune promoting the rematch. But I don't believe he ever would have.

                  I don't believe it was a fear that Wills might beat Dempsey that held him back, it was a fear that a Black man might beat Dempsey. IMHO Rickard wouldn't have cared if Dempsey got beat, so long as he (and always did) have the opponent under an extended contract, (and after the Johnson fiasco, was also White.)
                  Here is an unsolicited opinion about your "back and fourth" with Travesty... This advice and trainfare will get you a ride, guaranteed. Travesty and you have no obvious disagreement about the corruption and affects of poverty on communities where competing groups have similar interests.... Travesty seems to feel that these affects are more nuanced than you do. The mere fact that corruption is an issue does not necessarily limit motivation, action, and even altruism.

                  promoters are always thinking of making money... ALWAYS. Race relations are another angle to manipulate to ANY promoter. So its certainly fair to agree that altruism was not on the table regarding race and the heavyweight championship of the world, from a promoter's POV. But I agree with T that there are levels to this...when we start to look at other factors, and the fighters: Prime example would be Harry Wills. Wills seemed to be a decent sort, unnaturally stalwart. It would seem he was credible in a way other fighters were not necessarily so. This impression comes from looking at how Wills conducted himself, throughout his life, and what people claim were Will's motivtions & actions. With Dempsey, Johnson, Mcveigh, Jeanette, and Langford... One gets conflicting accounts about what happened at fights, etc. This is no accident. Fighters are not good witnesses. They have this thing to protect called their ego.

                  I would also like to clarify some other factors to consider regarding the macroclimate in which these fights were being considered: REgarding Tamminey Hall, he extended himself to the Irish because he wanted the votes. He recognized that controlling labor interests would be how to attain a majority position. As far as whites beating up blacks... yes this happened but it made a lot better press than reporting how, in the five points, the blacks, the irish, the jews, the italians got along and thrived in a very functional urban environment. Chicago gang land history is a footnote to leaders laced up by the Jewish gangsters (at the time) in the five points... including Capone and Nitany (his enforcer). Luciano himself, was from that school of the five points Ivy league lol. Jewish gangsters taught him to go against the pprevailing Sicilian code not to allow outsiders in to the works. Blacks in that environment would go on to form stable middle class families and eventually communities like Harlem and the Fillmore (migration out west). So yes there was strife, yes there was corruption... but thats not all there was.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I never understood the race riots bit because it's exactly what sells, but I never really cared because I do not think reasonable excuses absolve anything any better than unreasonable ones. So I have little motivation to get to the bottom of it.

                    People say actions speak louder than words but don't practice that ****. Did X fight Y? No? I'll hold them to it then. You can't change my mind with well thought out and logical reasoning, just the tune of my criticism. The words used to explain the lack of action do not negate the lack of action....they are just words; almost useless.

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