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Don King


WHEREAS, Don King was the first black to dominate the economics of a major sport; and

WHEREAS, Don King has always been outspoken on the critical issues which face black people; and

WHEREAS, Don King was the first person in the history of sports to pay black professional athletes what they were worth and has consistently paid black and Hispanic boxers the largest purses in the history of the sport; and

WHEREAS,his willingness andability to pay black boxers purses commensurate with their talent and market value has led to the same phenomenon in other sports such that both black and white professional athletes are now uniformly paid their market value without exploitation; and

WHEREAS, his marketing genius in globalizing and internationalizing the sport of boxing has caused him to be recognized as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, promoters of all time; and

WHEREAS, he has from the beginning of his career and without seeking credit for doing so, generously donated his wealth to worthy causes of all kinds across racial, ethnic, religious and cultural lines, including repeated and generous contributions to a wide array of black causes; and

WHEREAS, he was recognized and honored in 1997 by the NAACP, the National Urban League, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, the National Council of Negro Women, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference for his considerable good will; and

WHEREAS, his domination of boxing, his refusal to be intimidated and co-opted by hostile white forces and his outspokenness of this country's treatment of its black citizens has made him a perennial target of federal law enforcement and a subject of repeated negative media coverage by hostile white press; and

WHEREAS, all efforts by the federal government to prosecute him have resulted in humiliating defeats for the government in court; and

WHEREAS, Don King is now the subject of yet another federal criminal investigation; and

WHEREAS, in the last 30 years, the federal government has paid scant, if any, attention to the prosecution of any other important figures in boxing who are white, including other promoters such as Bob Arum who have admittedly been involved in criminal conduct; and

WHEREAS,the federal government has used offensive and racially motivated tactics to pursue its criminal investigation against Don King including a recently overtly racist encounter with the FBI by Carolyn Kelly, a respected veteran black community leader in Newark, whom the government is trying to recruit as a witness against Mr. King; and

WHEREAS, the investigation of Don King appears to be a part of a clear and unmistakable pattern by federal prosecutors to over‑investigate and over-prosecute prominent black leaders including black elected officials and black political leaders; and

WHEREAS, the federal government has no business using its police powers to further a hostile political agenda aimed at destroying black economic and political leadership; and

WHEREAS, when Don King was prosecuted in 1995 and 1998, the collective black leadership implored Attorney General Janet Reno to prevent the prosecution of Don King because he had been targeted for investigation and prosecution in violation of the internal guidelines of the Justice Department; and

WHEREAS, Attorney General Reno unfairly rejected the legitimate attempt by black leadership to prevent these prosecutions; and

WHEREAS, the collective black leadership of this country once again wishes to register its strongest possible complaint against the federal government's targeting of Don King and other important black political and economic leaders.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACPdemands a meeting with Attorney General Janet Reno to present its legitimate position to:

(i)           to prevent yet another unfair prosecution against Don King, and

(ii)            to end a continuing pattern of unfair criminal investigations and                              prosecutions against black political and economic leaders.