The Springboks are coming, the Springboks are coming. Could that mean, come the Los Angeles Olympics, a lot of black African countries wont't be coming?
The U.S. State Department affirmed yesterday authorization for the consulate general in Cape Town to issue visas to 30 team members and four officials of the Springboks rugby club for a September tour to play American sides in Chicago, Albany, N.Y., and New York City.
The timing comes smack in the middle of tumultuous demonstrations in New Zealand over this (integrated) South African select rugby team's upcoming tour there -- and black African threats to boycott next year's Commonwealth Games in Australia if New Zealand takes part, a la Montreal Olympics '76.
Washington has received protests, the State Department admitted, but a spokesman said "there are no grounds to deny to visas. The U.S. government can't decide not to issue visas to groups if it doesn't like them; the issuance does not imply approval or disapproval." It does, the official said, reflect Reagan administration "policy of noninterference in private sporting events."
Oh, by the way: State said that because Australia has refused the Springboks passage for the trip to New Zealand (first game scheduled July 22), the team will be stopping in transit in the United States Thursday and Friday. ACCESS, a U.S. coalition against apartheid, "condemns" the developments. . .
George Allen is everywhere! Robert Irsay, informing the Baltimore Evening Sun he has rejected a $50 million bid for his NFL Colts, fingers Allen as the bidders' front man -- "he had been talking to me for several weeks" and "I told him 'no.'" Charlottesville lawyer George Allen Jr. told the newspaper that his father had approached Irsay. Reportedly Allen pere had behind him a six-man syndicate headed by Donald Trump, a New York realty tycoon.
Long-awaited (?) answer: Redskins' only first-of-whole-NFL draft picks were, 1948, Harry Gilmer; 1962 Ernie Davis, selected expressly for trade to cleveland for Bobby Mitchell and Browns' first-round pick (predesignated) Leory Jackson . . . NL's first All-Star starter, Wild Bill Hallahan, 78, died last week in Binghamton, N.Y. This Cardinal Stalwart peaked in 1931 at 19-9 plus two World Series wins and a save. Next question, answer a day away: Against the AL's classic" in Comiskey Park over a truly wild lefty Hallahan, the first batter ever in an All-Star Game was ? ? ? ? Hint: another "wild" guy.