Adolph Rupp's legacy at Kentucky isn't so simple

Adolph Rupp’s legacy at Kentucky isn’t so simple

The 2nd Black basketball gamer in University of Kentucky history stood outdoors Adolph Rupp’s workplace door attempting to summon the guts to knock.

Reggie Warford required the response to a concern that had actually troubled him because Rupp started hiring him.

It was 1972, 18 years after the Supreme Court provided its landmark Brown v. Board of Education judgment rendering partition unlawful in public schools. Kentucky started accepting Black undergraduate trainees in 1954 and opened its athletic programs to trainees of color 9 years later on, yet Rupp’s basketball program stayed practically solely white.

Warford looked for to much better comprehend why so a lot of the area’s premier Black gamers of his period either didn’t speak with Rupp or handed down the possibility to bet him. After going into Rupp’s workplace and making little talk for a couple of minutes, the 17- year-old inbound freshman boldly asked the designer of Kentucky’s basketball dynasty, “Why didn’t you recruit more colored players?”

The action from Rupp struck Warford as genuine yet leaving much open up to analysis.

“Because I didn’t have to, son,” Warford remembered Rupp stating. “I’ve always gotten the best white players in the country.”

Almost a half century later on, Rupp’s mindsets and actions on the problem of race stay a topic of interest and debate. At stake is the legacy of a training icon who recorded 4 nationwide titles and never ever withstood a losing season in 42 years as patriarch of among college basketball’s most tradition-rich programs.

To some Americans, Rupp is a sign of the Segregated South, a bad guy who spoke in racial slurs and stood in the method of modification. Those critics see Rupp through the prism of the 1966 nationwide title video game in which his all-white Kentucky group notoriously lost to a Texas Western team with 5 Black beginners

Rupp’s protectors in the Bluegrass State see a really various “Man in the Brown Suit” than the caricature painted by his critics. Supporters of Rupp argue his bigotry has actually been overemphasized, his progressive contributions have actually gone ignored and his track record as a segregationist is at finest misguided.

The professor in Kentucky’s African American and Africana Studies department reignited the dispute once again in July when they proposed altering the name of RuppArena In a letter sent out to University of Kentucky president Eli Capilouto, the professor argued that Rupp’s name “has come to stand for racism and exclusion” and “alienates Black students, fans, and attendees.”

So who truly was Adolph Frederick Rupp? What, if anything, did he do to advantage Black gamers throughout the Civil Rights period? How far more could he have done? Finding the responses needs removing away the mistruths that have actually collected for many years and newly examining among the most complex and engaging figures in basketball history.

In late August 1930, an enthusiastic 28- year-old Illinois high school basketball coach evacuated a couple of personal belongings and drove South to handle a brand-new difficulty. The entire time he questioned if he had actually slipped up accepting a deal to end up being the basketball coach at a university that till then had actually just revealed indifference to the sport.

The Kentucky task paid just $2,800 each year, precisely what Rupp made as the coach at Freeport HighSchool In addition to training the basketball group, Rupp’s position also needed him to act as an assistant for the football and track and field groups.

In those days, the centers or fan assistance weren’t precisely what John Calipari delights in today either. Kentucky played in a confined, $92,000 gym Rupp thought about no much better than the one atFreeport

Further making complex Rupp’s choice whether to take Kentucky’s deal, he had actually started dating his fiancée inFreeport Rupp had also simply made his master’s degree and principal’s diploma and his future as a high school coach and administrator was intense.

< p class =" canvas-atom canvas-textMb( 1.0 em)Mb( 0)-- smMt( 0.8 em)-- sm" type =" text" material ="The principalatFreeportHighSchool urged Rupp to remain.Others inFreeport echoed that, callingLexington“hillbilly country” and informingRupp" whoever became aware ofKentucky doing anything[in basketball]?"" data-reactid ="60" >The principalatFreeportHighSchool urgedRupp to remain.Others inFreeport echoed that, callingLexington“hillbilly country” and informing Rupp” whoever became aware ofKentucky doing anything[in basketball]?”

Rupp altered that in a rush as soon as he took the Kentucky task– and he did it by acknowledging ahead of his time that a deadly fast-break attack was essential.InRupp’s launching,Kentucky squashed outmannedGeorgetownCollege,67-19His groups continued to run like hell for the next 4 years, collecting an876-190 record and(************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************* )conference titles.

A sharp-tongued disciplinarian and well-known perfectionist,Rupp was hardly ever cozy with his gamers yet he had an inherent capability to draw their finest out of them.Nobody else attempted make a noise whenRupp resolved his groups.The locker space wasRupp’s phase, as was the practice flooring.

OnJan 8, 1945,Kentucky led an overmatchedArkansasState group34 -4at halftime.Rupp infamously burst into the locker space requiring to understand which of theWildcats was safeguarding the opposing gamer who had actually scored all of ArkansasState’spoints since he was“running absolutely wild.”

Years later on, withKentucky sleepwalking through an early -season practice,(******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** )screamed for his trainee supervisor to get a towel.“The roof must be leaking,” previous supervisor C.B.“Mike”Harreld remembersRupp shouting.“There’s a drop of water on the floor and none of these blankety-blank blankety-blanks are working hard enough to sweat.”

Fame was the only thingRupp liked as much as winning,so he courted it unabashedly.In his early yearsatKentucky, he ‘d siphon attention far from football by hyping practically every video game his group played as part of a bitter fight.Later, when hisSunday night TELEVISION program was visit watching throughoutKentucky and images of him posturing with stars cluttered the walls of his workplace, press reporters who approachedRupp for a splashy quote hardly ever showed up dry.

After a NewYork author asked him to recommend some guideline modifications to enhance the video game,Rupp outlandishly proposed reestablishing the center dive after made baskets, eliminating the internet and backboard from the hoop and raising the baskets by 5 feet.Later, somebody askedRupp if he truly liked those concepts.RepliedRupp:“Hell, no. But anything for a column.”

The success ofKentucky basketball underRupp ended up being a much-needed wellspring of pride for a rural state that dragged its next-door neighbors in regards to market and wealth.Kentuckians enjoyedRupp, and he accepted his embraced house state right back, his drawl relatively deepening every year together with his affinity for great bourbon.

By the dawning of theCivilRights motion,Rupp had as much political influence as any figure inKentuckyThe just concern was whether he had any desire to promote modification.

Rupp’s made complex legacy

Decades prior to the combination ofKentucky basketball,AdolphRupp in factcoached 2Black gamers.

The initially wasWilliamMoseley, a member ofRupp’s1927 and1928 groupsatFreeportHighThe second was previous UCLA centerDonBarksdale, who betRupp in1948 when he ended up being the very firstAfricanAmerican to make the U.S.Olympic basketball group

InMarch1948, the U.S.Olympic committee staged an eight-team competition to identify its lineup for theLondonGames the following summer season.The headcoaches and beginning fives from bothKentucky and the(***************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** )66Oilers made the right to represent the U.S. after both groups advanced to the title video game.Barksdale was amongst the committee’s 4at- big choices.

In a1991 interview with the LA84Foundation,Barksdale stated,“I started out with a very stormy relationship with Adolph Rupp.”Barksdale passed away of throat cancer in1993, however among his boys elaborated toYahooSports about the icy reception his daddy obtained from theKentuckycoach

“As the story was told to me, Adolph Rupp was initially opposed to the fact that my father was on the team because of his color,”DerekBarksdale stated.“The initial communication was not there. He would always speak through another player to talk to my dad. He would never talk to my dad directly.”

When the U.S. group checked outLexington for an intrasquadexhibition video game,Barksdale could not stick with his colleaguesat a hotel.He rather remainedat the house of a popular black household, where he got a telephone call from an unknown male threatening to eliminate him if he played in the video game the following night.

Shaken however not beat,Barksdale dressed anyhow, scoring13points while ending up being the very firstAfricanAmerican to betKentucky inLexingtonThecoaches consequently offeredBarksdale adequate playing time throughout theOlympics and the 6-foot-6 center rewarded them by becoming among the gold medal-winning group’s finest well-rounded gamers.

By completion of the journey,Barksdale appears to have actually wonRupp’s regard.In a1984 interview with aPhiladelphia paper,Barksdale declared thatRupp“turned out to be my closest friend on the team.”In1991,Barksdale informed the LA84Foundation that Rupp waited on him on the gangplankat completion of their trip fromLondon toNewYork to inform him“it was a pleasure” training him.

“That was something my father took pride in,”DerekBarksdale stated.“He would always tell me that if he was dealing with a racist, he wanted them to have to question their racism by the time they were done speaking with him.”

It would produce a tidier story ifRupp emerged an altered male after being familiar withBarksdale, however the fact isn’t sosimple(***************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** )truth, Rupp’s subsequent treatment of AfricanAmericans ran the range from kindhearted to terrible.

SometimesRupp was generous.In a2018 documentary, NBA leaderJimTucker exposed thatRupp approached him after a1950 high school championship game and informed him he wanted he were permitted to sign him.Rupp then headed out of his method to suggest theAfricanAmerican to a good friend who coachedatDuquesne, leading the way forTucker to end up being a two-timeAll-American with theDukes

SometimesRupp was unbiased.Seeking to challenge his groups versus strong competitors,Rupp did not evade incorporated non-league challengers the method a few of his peers did.Teams withBlack gamers checked outLexington as quickly as1951, more than a years earlier than a few ofKentucky’sSoutheasternConference competitors.

SometimesRupp was sluggish to act.In1956, the state ofLouisiana reacted toBrown v.Board ofEducation by passing a law that restrictedBlacks andWhites from taking part in the very same athletic contest.Dayton,StLouis andNotreDame objected by revoking a four-teamChristmas basketball competition inNewOrleans, howeverKentucky picked to honor its agreement andRupp assisted discoverthree all-white Southern groups to act as replacements.

Sometimes bigotry returned to hauntRuppIn the quarterfinals of the1950 NIT,Kentucky’s challenger was aCityCollege ofNewYork group that beganthreeAfrican Americans.According to a book released in 2015 byMatthewGoodman, theCityCollege beginning 5 each extended their hands right before tipoff howeverthreeKentucky gamers turned away.Incensed by the snub,CityCollege stormed to an89-50 upset.

Too typicallyRupp was priced quote utilizing unforgivable racial slurs.In one such circumstances exposed byJamesDuaneBolin’s2019Rupp bio, theWildcats had actually simply gotten silver belt buckles as a runner-up reward following a loss toSaintLouis in the1948SugarBowl competition title video game.Rupp supposedly burst into the locker space, tossed his belt buckle versus a wall and stated,“I wouldn’t give that to my n—- on the farm.”

It was a minute that hintedRupp was ill-prepared for the long-overdue duration of modification in theSouth that will show up.

Rupp informed to incorporate

In a conference with a journalism class inDecember1961, then-University ofKentucky presidentFrankDickey made a headline-grabbing forecast.

Dickey stated it was just a matter of time tillAfricanAmericans started contending in the all-whiteSoutheasternConference and revealed hope thatKentucky would be“one of the leaders in bringing this about.”

The very first challenge postponing the combination ofKentucky sports was the university’s conference association.Many members of the all-whiteSoutheasternConferenceat that time hesitated to set up an incorporated challenger.As an outcome,Kentucky ran the risk of needing to leave the SEC if it desegregated its athletic department in the early1960 s, a monetary hit thatDickey was not yet happy to withstand.

InMay1963, quickly after ballot fellow SEC members on whether they would consent to deal with integrated groupsat house and on the roadway,Dickey choseKentucky need to wait no longer.The university ended up being the very first SEC member to state its athletic groups were open to potential trainees of all races.

The timing ofKentucky’s statement accompanied the most pedestrian stretch ofRupp’s remarkable training profession.Three times from1959-65,Kentucky did not advance to the NCAA competition.Twice more theWildcats made the NCAA competition field however stopped working to win a video game.

Newfound access to the area’s premierBlack potential customers relatively had the possible to assistKentucky recover its elite status, howeverRupp grumbled that he could not discover effect gamers having appropriate scholastic certifications.In a1977 interview, Dickey rememberedRupp informing him,“I’m perfectly willing to have Blacks on the team, but the ones that I can get would never play and the ones that I want you won’t admit.”

Unwilling to lose a lineup area on an ineffective gamer,Rupp also alerted that he would not decrease his requirements simply to incorporate his lineup.ToRupp, the gamer who broke theSoutheasternConference’s color barrier needed to be an instant starter, aJackieRobinson- esque figure having a mix of skill, intelligence and psychological durability.

WhenDrJohn Oswald changedDickey as university president in late1963, he rapidly wearied ofRupp’s selectivity.He pressuredRupp to incorporate the university’s greatest profile program as rapidly as possible, even if it suggested taking a gamer who wasn’t anAfricanAmericanCliffHagan orRalphBeard

“Get someone,”Oswald informedRupp“I don’t care if he sits on the bench.”

“I don’t recruit that way,”Rupp reacted.“When I recruit, I’m going to get someone that can play.”

Following one such especially heated conference withOswald, a lividRupp went back to his workplace and talked with long time assistantcoachHarryLancaster

“Harry, that son of a bitch is ordering me to get some n—– in here,”Lancaster rememberedRupp stating in his1979 book,“Adolph Rupp: As I Knew Him.”“What am I going to do? He’s the boss.”

AdolphRupp attempted to hireWesUnseld toKentucky, howeverUnseld picked Louisville rather.Unseld went on to leadWashington to its only NBA champion and was picked among the50 biggest gamers in league history.( AP)


Rupp attempts to incorporate … or did he?

The very firstBlack possibility thatRupp considered deserving of a scholarship deal was a future five-time NBA all-star andFinals MVP.

Six -foot-7 centerWesUnseld was a state champatLouisvilleSenecaHigh in1963 and1964(**************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** )of the country’s most sought after employees.

Softspoken and academic far from the basketball flooring however a relentless rebounder on it,Unseld would have been a perfect prospect to incorporate the SEC.Kentucky gamers of that period explain him as the missing out on piece onRupp’sRunts, the1965-(*************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** )group that advanced to the nationwide title video game without any gamer taller than 6-foot-5.

One element that ledUnseld to selectLouisville overKentucky wasRupp’s hands-off technique to recruiting.Rupp made simply one check out to the household’sLouisville house and spoke just toUnseld’s moms and dads since the gamer had a scheduling dispute.

Unseld didn’t understand that in those daysRupp hardly ever troubled to leave school to offer potential customers and their moms and dads onKentucky, that he never ever even visited the similarityDanIssel face to face as a high school gamer.As an outcome,Unseld possibly incorrectly seenRupp’s design as an indication thecoach didn’t in fact desire him and just made a program of hiring him to pleaseKentucky’s pro-integration administration.

“Everyone at my high school and around kept saying that if they really wanted me, I would have talked to Rupp and heard from Lancaster,”Unseld stated in the2005 documentaryAdolphRupp:Myth,Legend andFact“You know, they would have been on my doorstep.”

ButchBeard, the state gamer of the year inKentucky in1965, was the 2ndAfricanAmerican possibility that Rupp targeted.The 6-foot-3 guard had actually matured listening toKentucky video games on the radio, a medium that permittedBeard to desire bet an all-white program.

Rupp’s at home see with the household went efficiently till thecoach made the error of informingBeard’s mom thatKentucky may be academically challenging for her kid.RecalledBeard with a laugh,“My mama said afterwards, ‘He must think we’re idiots!’”

In the eyes ofMamaBeard, that wasn’tRupp’s just oversight.Healso didn’t adequately assure her after she asked if he might keep her kid safe whenKentucky played SEC roadway video games.

The SEC’sDeepSouth footprint triggeredKentucky to make yearly sees to locations where violent acts versusBlack individuals prevailed throughout theCivilRights period.Black gamersalso could not remain in the very same hotels, consumeat the very same dining establishments or consume from the very same water fountains as their white colleagues in a lot of those(************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************ )cities.

Rupp was not ignorant to the risk, not after getting boxfuls of handwritten letters threatening his life if he attempted incorporate the SEC.TheKentuckycoach was most likely simply being sincere when he guaranteedBeard’s mom just that he ‘d do the very best he might to secure her kid.

WhenRupp left their house,Beard’s mama informed him,“You’re not going there.”Beard ultimately gave up, following his palUnseld toLouisville instead of being the one to break the color barrier in the SEC.

“I just didn’t feel like fighting that fight, to be honest,”Beard informedYahooSports

Another swing and a miss on an eliteAfricanAmerican hire increased the pressure on Rupp to discover a trendsetter.So did subsequent failures to landBlack potential customersPerryWallace,Jim McDan iels andFelixThruston, to name a few.

Over the next couple of years,Oswald’s impatience relied on anger.Vanderbilt had actually signedWallace in1966 and incorporated SEC basketball a year later on.In- state schoolsLouisville,MurrayState andWesternKentucky had actually all included incorporated basketball groups for several years.

“Basketball is the last segregated department that we have here in the university,”Oswald informedRupp

RespondedRupp,”We made an effort to go get these kids, and we have not had the ability to get them.”

It’s affordable to argue thatRupp dragged his feet in the recruitment ofAfricanAmericans, yet it’salso clear that by the mid-1960 s he comprehended the instructions college basketball was headed.InJanuary1966, he collected his gamersat completion of practice and informed them to go house and check out the paper since there was something in it that they would never ever see once again.

“We were all looking at each other like has the old man gone crazy?”Harreld remembered.“Then he said that the top three teams in the country — Duke, Kentucky and Vanderbilt — were all from the South and all white. He said, ‘You’ll never, ever see that again.’”

ReggieWarford is the 2ndBlack gamerAdolphRupp signedatKentucky( AP)


Rupp lands his very firstBlack gamer

The very firstBlack gamer to betRuppatKentucky confesses he was mentally ill-equipped for the difficulty.

ThomasPayne had not been a target of bigotry prior to college, nor did the 7-footer comprehend just how much vitriol he would quickly withstand.

The kid of a professionArmy male,Payne had actually lived all over the world prior to his household settled inLouisville when he was15The color ofPayne’s skin wasalso a non-issueat the incorporated high school he went to inLouisville, additional protecting him from bigotry.

Tall, gangly and uncomfortable as a kid,Payne was a loner throughout school.Only after thecoachatLouisville’sShawnee(************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************ )convinced him to experiment with for the school’s basketball group as a sophomore did he understand that his height might be a possession.

From thatpoint on,Payne’s climb was startlingly quick.Teammates poked enjoyable at him when he started playing basketball.Payne explained himself as“this big string bean kid” who“couldn’t chew bubblegum and dribble a basketball at the same time.”

Only 2 years later on, he was the most declared gamer in amongAmerican’s leading basketball states.He balanced258points and29 rebounds as a senior and collegecoaches from throughout the country desired him.

Out of lots of choices,Payne pickedKentucky inJune1969 over the objections of some popularBlack individuals in theLouisville neighborhood.Beard stated he warnedPayne,“You don’t need to go up there. You don’t need that.”

“He just wasn’t mature enough to deal with it,”Beard stated.“To be the first in a situation like that, you have to be special. It’s not for everyone.”

WhenPayne signed withKentucky,Rupp anticipated he ‘d have a(****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** )Alcindor- like profession.Rupp continued hyping the 7-footer even as he was betting a regional AAU group as a freshman while getting his grades in order.

Payne ended up being qualified to play as a sophomore in1970 and vanquish fellow centersJimAndrews andMarkSoderberg forDanIssel’s old beginning task.Showcasing excellent ability and strength, he balanced169points and 10.1 rebounds, ledKentucky to a conference title and ended up being the very firstBlack gamer to make all-SEC honors.

ThoughPayne admiredRupp’s“courage” for beginning him versus the objections of others around the program, the previousKentucky standout confesses theseason took a toll on him since of the bigotry he withstood.On schoolPayne stated that lots of white trainees neglected him or declined to engage with him.Then whenKentucky went on the roadway in the SEC, the abuse ended up being more obvious.

InKnoxville, somebody doodled on the chalkboard inKentucky’s locker space,”Payne– simply a n —–!” Elsewhere, anything from racial slurs to cups of water drizzled down on him.There werealso letters withKentucky postmarks informing him he wasn’t desired– or even worse.

“It was really hard for me,”Payne informedYahooSports(******************************************************************************************************************************************************************* )

The leader that Kentucky had actually waitedso long to discover lasted simply oneseasonPayne gave up college to sign with theAtlantaHawksat age20

“I didn’t feel accepted at Kentucky and I didn’t think I would be accepted,”Payne stated.“And then economically I didn’t come from much. I thought the contract presented to me would help me and my family.”

The gamble didn’t exercise forPayneHe lasted simply oneseason with theHawks and has actually invested much of his adult life in jail as an outcome of several rape convictions.

(***************************************************************************************************** )Like most previousKentucky gamers,Payne didn’t have a buddy-buddy relationship withRuppTheir discussions were respectful and considerate, howeverPayne never ever thought about him as a good friend, simply as acoach

Now paroled and residing inMichigan,Payne has actually devoted his life to assisting others deal with racial oppression and accomplish racial conciliation.He feels a sense of prideat opening doors forWarford and the lots of otherBlack gamers who followed himatKentucky

“I look back fondly on Coach Rupp because I think it took a lot of courage for him to start me,”Payne stated.“If he hadn’t started me, I wouldn’t have been able to show that a Black person can play at the level I did in the SEC.”

‘I’ d hate to have my opponent choose mylegacy’

Two days after professor inKentucky’sAfricanAmerican andAfricana research studies program requiredRupp’s name to be removed from the basketball arena, teacherDerrickWhite logged ontoTwitter to articulate his position in higher information.

In a long thread, theLexington native argued thatRupp actively keptKentucky basketball segregated longer than was required.

White recommended thatRupp ran in“bad faith” by offeringUnseld andWallace scholarships without in fact consulting with them and by stopping working to lay out a strategy to keepBeard safe on journey in SEC play.Whitealso asserted thatRupp’s policy of just pursuing possibleAfricanAmerican effect gamers was in fact a“racist double standard.”

“Rupp offered and signed numerous white players that sat on the end of the bench,”White composed.”The just in-stateBlack gamers thatRupp used in between1964-1969 wereMrBasketballThe finest gamer in the state of KY.

“Rupp had the power and support from the governor and the school president but held Black players to a standard that only a few met. They clearly saw that he wasn’t going to support Black players. His racial stubborness, racial double standards, kept his team white. This is racism.”

To a lot ofRupp’s previous gamers, those arguments fizzle.They firmly insist thatRupp was genuine in his recruitment of(*********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** )Beard andWallace which his only recruiting program was discovering gamers who might assist him win.

Some ofRupp’s advocates question how in a different way he would be viewed today if(************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************ )orBeard had actually pickedKentucky overLouisvilleOr if all-whiteDuke had actually beatKentucky in the1966 nationwide semifinals and advanced to fulfillTexas -Western in the next night’s title video game.

“If he was a racist because he didn’t have any black players, then I guess every single coach in the SEC in those days must have been racist,” stated previousKentucky guardTerryMills, who betRupp from 1968-71“This subject has been investigated with him several times and it never goes anywhere. I don’t think there was any terminology he used or any actions that he took that would lead you to believe he was a racist.”

So who truly wasAdolphFrederickRupp? A racist who stood in the method of the combination ofKentucky basketball? A misinterpreted figure who dealt with everybody similarly? A pragmatist who could have done more to assistAfrican-Americans however just cared more about winning than racial justice?Maybe the most even-handed viewpoint originates from a male who attempted askRupp why didn’t coach moreBlack gamers, a male who was hired byRupp however never ever got to bet him.

Warford, the 2ndBlack gamer and very firstBlack graduate in(**************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** )basketball history, shown up inLexington months after Kentucky requiredRupp to retireat age70,at the time the university’s optimum retirement age for all staff members.Warford comprehends if others labelRupp a racist, however in his minimal interactions he never ever saw enough direct proof to feel that method.

“In my dealings with Rupp, he wasn’t what other people described him as,”Warford stated.“I’ve had to fight things said about me that weren’t 100-percent factual or true and there’s nothing worse. I’d hate to have my enemy decide my legacy.”

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