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Thread: Racism alleged in hydroplane denial; safety issue cited

  1. #1
    Team Member AZOutlaw's Avatar
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    Default Racism alleged in hydroplane denial; safety issue cited

    as posted here....http://www.freep.com/article/2010050...ty-issue-cited

    Racism alleged in hydroplane denial; safety issue cited
    Boat association says safety is the issue
    BY NAOMI R. PATTON
    FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

    The annual Detroit River Regatta Association's Gold Cup hydroplane boat races could be in jeopardy after a hydroplane team owner and driver told the City Council that the American Power Boat Association has rejected his participation in the July Gold Cup because he is black.


    Jerry Bell, who owns and drives for his Bell Hydroplane Team, wants the council to deny the permits for the Gold Cup races. He told the council's Neighborhood and Community Services Committee on Thursday that the APBA has prevented him from sponsoring an exhibition during the Gold Cup races because he's black.

    "I know our boat is clearly capable of running," said Bell, who said he offered the Eastpointe-based APBA, the sanctioning body for the race, $4,000 to sponsor an exhibition, but was rejected.

    But Doug Bernstein, a Regatta association board member, said Bell's participation was denied because his 5.0-liter hydroplane boat, around 18 to 19 feet, is too small to safely compete in the Detroit River near Belle Isle.
    "Here's the thing, the last thing that we are worried about when we're trying to put this event together is excluding anybody's race," Bernstein said.
    Since 2003, Bernstein said 5.0-liter boats have competed just twice. Both men acknowledge Bell competed in one of those races.

    Bell, 35, of Detroit also did an exhibition in 2008, but Bernstein said that was only after Bell harangued the association, making allegations of racism and potentially threatening the title sponsorship.
    Teddy Dudley, who is African American and has been racing since 1985, said he gave Bell his first crew job at Dudley's 7 Mile and Van Dyke shop in 1995. Dudley defended the APBA's stance, adding that the association has been accommodating to him over the years.

    "Jerry wants them to bend the rules. You can't bend the rules and end up costing a man's life," said Dudley, who retired as a driver after a 1996 crash.
    The council deferred the Gold Cup petition for a permit until next week.
    Councilman Kwame Ken-yatta, who chairs the committee, invited officials from the APBA, the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy and state officials to attend next week's meeting.

    Contact NAOMI R. PATTON: 313-223-4485 or npatton@freepress.com

  2. #2
    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default How Could APBA Be Racist???

    Hell man, APBA has raced Black Max Mercury since there were Black max motos...There are black race motors everywhere!

    I'd love to see a picture of "BLACK DUDE's" boat???? I'd let him run it, I'd let him do whatever he wants....and when it was all voer I'd point out what bills he still has outstanding!

    It is times like this that I am glad APBA has no money!!!!!!

    Robin Hood took from the rich becasue they had the money.

  3. #3
    Team Member Gene East's Avatar
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    How sad that charges of racism should rear it's ugly head in our sport.

    True there are not many black drivers in the sport, but I don't believe it's due to racism. After all, there aren't many black auto racers either when viewed as a percentage.

    I knew Art "Butch" Kennedy and his Dad, Art Sr. 50 years ago and considered them friends until their deaths. They were well respected by their competitors, and the color of their skin was of no consequence.

    I believe the Gold Cup is an unlimited race is it not? Unlimiteds used to have a minimum length, I suspect they still do.

    If the driver in question had a boat that complied with the rules I can see no reason why he would not be allowed to race.

    Anyone who has ever driven a B runabout in a free for all race surely can remember thinking, "What am I doing here?

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    YARD BIRD
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    Default DETROIT - ugh

    iT SEEMS TO ME that the Detroit river is SO darn dangerous, I wouldn't want to race any boat smaller than,say, a P T boat . Didn't 2 unlimited drivers lose their life on the same day, many years ago ? And, using race as an issue- THAT river SURE don't care about your color. And, the APBA has to care about ONE color- GREEN. "Money talks - Bull sh*t
    walks !" By money, naturally I mean INSURANCE(which is not even close to being free).

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    Default Racism!

    Why would one, who is desparate, not play the "Race Card?"
    It is the ultimate winning weapon, it most certainly puts the other party in helpless defense mode!
    It's a very effective tool!!

    -It got us a president!

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    Default I am so sick of the race card

    If you meet the rules of a given race, you race. If you don't, you don't race. Why is it that the ones that typically want rules changed for them are the ones that have the race card in their pocket?

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    Default The Facts

    Here is the situation as I see it. Jerry Bell wants to run a 5 liter (16-19 foot hydros) exhibition a few weeks before the Gold Cup. APBA has denied him a sanction for it because the details of the exhibition are unclear as to who the rescue team is, who will be the insurance provider, etc. Mr. Bell, with the help of Mike Cashin, has now levied a claim against APBA charging racism as the reason APBA won't sanction this exhibition. I don't know if any of you are on the Yahoo Inboard group, but this has been going on for at least a month, and has now caused the group moderator to shut the board down for a week.

    It's pretty sad that this idiot can spout off his mouth and maybe cancel one of the most storied events in all of motor sports because they won't let him play on the river. It in no way, shape or form has anything to do with race. It has everything to do with the waterway being marginally safe for even the best prepared 5 liter in the country, let alone the equipment that would probably be on the river for this "exhibition."

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    J-Dub J-Dub's Avatar
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    If I had better typing skills and enough time I would share my VERY FEW direct experiences with Mr. Bell... Here is one of my least incriminating stories of Mr. Bell:
    Don't remember exactly what year it was, but I think it was '07. Mr. Bell wore his driving suit and driving shoes the ENTIRE day for the ENTIRE weekend (3 Days!). I am personally humored by racers that do this as if they are starved for attention...
    But wait.... It gets better...
    His F'n boat wasn't even in the pits!!!!!!

    J-Dub

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    If they were going to treat this man differently based upon his race, it seems they would let him run his exhibition (rather than require him to meet safety and other regulations governing the Gold Cup). A person pulling the "race card" when he does not meet the criteria is pathetic. The APBA should fight his frivolous action to the bitter end - and seek attorney fees incurred in defending the unfounded legal action.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J-Dub View Post
    If I had better typing skills and enough time I would share my VERY FEW direct experiences with Mr. Bell... Here is one of my least incriminating stories of Mr. Bell:
    Don't remember exactly what year it was, but I think it was '07. Mr. Bell wore his driving suit and driving shoes the ENTIRE day for the ENTIRE weekend (3 Days!). I am personally humored by racers that do this as if they are starved for attention...
    But wait.... It gets better...
    His F'n boat wasn't even in the pits!!!!!!

    J-Dub
    LOL!!! I remember that. In the year 2000 he claimed someone burned his boat down in the driveway.Which really did happen (I wonder who really struck the match) He got Comcast to feel sorry for him and to fork over the bucks to buy a new/old boat so he could complete his dream of racing on the Detriot River in the Unlimited Lights class. The boat showed up in the pits However, he had no engine and never ran all weekend. But he took Comcast money and never hit the water. Sounds to me like he is good a taking peoples money and never fulfilling the agreements.

    Scott

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