Sam Stoller - Champion Sprinter - 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin - Controversy Surrounding The Decision

Controversy Surrounding The Decision

Glickman immediately went public with a charge that the decision to pull him and Stoller was the product of "politics." After the heats failed to reveal Germany's hidden sprinters, Glickman told the press in Berlin, "The heats failed to show the necessity for shaking up the line-up after Stoller and myself long practiced the stick-work. We did not know until this morning's conference with Head Coach Robertson just who would run. It looks like politics to us." Glickman charged that "this talk about the Germans and the Dutch being so tough looks like a false alarm on the basis of today's trials." Stoller, who turned 21 on the day of the event, did not appear at the stadium, leading Glickman to say: "A fine present for Sam, wasn't it?"

Robertson took responsibility for the decision and sharply denied that any prejudice was involved. He insisted his sole purpose was to run the best available quartet and noted that the team's world-record performance was the best answer to his critics. However, Robertson's decision and Glickman's public comments led to a decades-long controversy over whether Stoller and Glickman were pulled to avoid embarrassing the German hosts of the Olympics. One wire service story from Berlin noted: "Leaving of Two Jewish Boys Out of 400 Race Brings Repercussions." Columnist Braven Dyer noted that Robertson's decision had been "panned" and had "angered a lot of folks" when he "jerked" Stoller and Glickman from the team. Dyer asserted that "Glickman and Stoller had good reason to believe that when they qualified to represent the United States in the baton-passing event that nothing less than physicial deterioration would prevent them from running. Apparently the boys were in good shape. Their conduct had offended no member of the brass hat brigade." And when the U.S. team arrived in New York, press accounts indicated that "an internal battle" loomed in the Olympic organization over "the dropping of two Jewish sprinters, Sam Stoller and Marty Glickman."

Read more about this topic:  Sam Stoller, Champion Sprinter, 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin

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