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Racist letters among FBI sports files

July 8, 2008 at 1:15 PM
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BOSTON, July 8 (UPI) -- A racist death threat against Boston Celtics coaching legend Red Auerbach is among the recently released FBI files related to New England sports figures.

The anonymous letter addressed to Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight was hidden away for 26 years along with even older files on figures such as Jesse Owens, Jim Thorpe and Arthur Ashe. Other FBI files released to and reported by The Boston Globe Tuesday included documents relating to New England Patriots founder Billy Sullivan and boxer Willie Pep.

FBI officials told the Globe they found no archived records on New England sports figures Ted Williams, Tony Conigliaro and Reggie Lewis, former Red Sox owners Thomas and Jean Yawkey, and Sam Jethroe, who in 1950 became the first African-American major leaguer to play for a Boston team when he joined the Braves.

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