In the happiest of moments

Ian Johnson

Ian Johnson

We missed it till now because the item broke in a sports column in the Idaho Statesman. Caught it now because it is showing up in national media – Sports Illustrated, national blogs and more. Mention it here because the implications could take it much further.

Started with a much-celebrated moment – the January win of the Boise State University Broncos over the Oklahoma Sooners. One of the BSU players centrally responsible for scoring the final winning points was running back Ian Johnson, and just after the game ended the fine day went on for him and one of the cheerleaders, when he proposed marriage, and she accepted.

The fact that he is black and she is white, however, wound up unearthing some serious racist ugliness. In news reports, Johnson said that he has fielded “phone calls, 30 letters and, in some instances, personal threats.” And the wedding will be the scene of increased security.

From the standpoint of Boise and Idaho, this too now has become a sad but undetachable part of the Fiesta Bowl story.

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