Title: "Local Pinmen Challenge Racial Rule," Seattle Times, 10/1/1949, (ddr-densho-56-1197)
Densho ID: ddr-densho-56-1197

Local Pinmen Challenge Racial Rule


Seattle keglers, vexed by the tone of bowling charges during the week, last night challenged the rest of the country's pin-topplers for a fight-to-the-finish to settle a racial discrimination dispute that stirred the American Bowling Congress last spring.

The challenge came when City Bowling Association executive-board members reaffirmed their stand of two years ago, voting to request the American Bowling Congress to delete the troublesome word "white" in describing those eligible for membership in the governing body of bowling.

That action followed the local body's granting the Boeing Bowling Association permission for "all employees" to compete in all Boeing competitions ... league or tournaments.

Some Boeing personnel isn't eligible for A.B.C. membership because of race or color.

Joe Stenstrom, president of the City Association, released for publication this latest action of the executive board:

"By reasons of having been placed in a difficult position after the Nisei Clippers of the Boeing Bowling Association were denied the right to compete under American Bowling Congress sponsorship, the Seattle City Bowling Association reaffirms its action of two years ago, when it instructed its delegates to the A.B.C. to vote against continued racial discrimination.

"Therefore the City Association feels that neither it nor the A.B.C. has any desire to interfere with the policies of any industrial leagues, such as the Boeing group.

"Therefore the City Association requests the A.B.C. to omit the word WHITE from Section 4 (membership eligibility rules) to permit granting benefits of bowling to ALL Americans.

"Seattle's City Association, acting within its rights and to the best interest of the A.B.C., granted the Boeing group the right to permit ALL Boeing employs to compete in all Boeing bowling activities.

Last night's action, taken at the monthly dinner-meeting of City Association's directorate, is somewhat in variance with an A.B.C. directive made in answer to a local request for clarification of the Nisei team in the Boeing Major League. Boeing was warned that all its bowlers were in danger of having sanction withdrawn if the Nisei continued to compete.

Bob Nelson, who again will be one of the one of the delegates, explained that the A.B.C. is formed on a fraternal basis with bowlers accepted by team registrations. At present the A.B.C. is changing from team to individual membership.

Possibly that was done to defeat membership bids from Nisei on the Pacific Coast and Atlantic Negroes.

From a fraternal beginning, the A.B.C. has grown into the governing body of the largest participant sports group in the world today.

J.J. (Jack) Bunsey, president of the Boeing Association, accepted the city executive board's decision and said the Nisei will continue to bowl as an unsanctioned team for the balance of this season.