The Art Monk Hall of Fame Campaign

October 21, 2006

Art and the Syracuse Eight

Filed under: News — DjTj @ 8:51 pm

October 21, 2006
Thirty-six years later, school honors players’ anti-racism stand
By William Kates

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — In 1970, nine black Syracuse University football players became rebellious outcasts when they quit the team to protest racial injustice.Now, 36 years later, the university is officially recognizing them for their courageous stand. On Friday, they received Chancellor’s Medals, one of the university’s highest honors. Chancellor Nancy Cantor called the men “emblematic of the values we want for our students and for ourselves when we face critical issues of justice and equality.”On Saturday, former National Football League star Art Monk, a 1980 Syracuse alumnus, gave them their long-denied letterman jackets at a halftime ceremony during the Syracuse-Louisville football game.Art Monk, one of the NFL’s all-time leading receivers and a member of three Super Bowl winners with Washington, sheepishly admitted that until last fall, he did not know the men’s story. Monk attended Syracuse from 1976-1980. He is now on the university’s board of trustees and helped gain university recognition for the former players.Monk, deeply moved by their story, said their accomplishments make a larger statement than any record he set in sports.“We have a false impression in this society as to what success really means,” he said. “Today, (young people) see success as glamour, money, possessions, cars and houses, and really those things aren’t worth anything. What really matters is the character of the person, your integrity, the standards that you live by.”-=-=-=-=-=-
SU Athletics
October 20, 2006
‘Syracuse Eight’ Press Conference Transcript

Art Monk

“Good afternoon. I’m not sure who is more excited about being here today, them or me. It’s really an honor to be here and participate in this. What impresses me most about these guys is that not only were they great athletes, but they were great men of character. They went on to graduate and make sure they took care of their studies. They also went on to become successful businessmen in their respective communities. So we are here today to recognize and to honor all of them, these men known as the Syracuse 8. They stood against racial injustice that took place here back in 1970. More importantly, we are here to mend and to restore a broken relationship that took place at that time between them and the University. Thirty-six years ago they boycotted because they were treated differently than their fellow teammates, their white teammates. Because of their stand and sacrifice, they lost the opportunity to finish their collegiate careers and any opportunity they had to go on and play professional football. We are not here to look back to drudge up the past to make the University look bad. We want to remember the past so we that we can affectively go on and celebrate our future. That future is now because what was once their loss is now our gain. What was once their loss was something that I benefited from when I came six years later. It is something that current players now take for granted, freedoms that they now are benefiting from because of what the Syracuse 8 stood for. So we are honored again to serve them in this capacity. What we are doing does not just end today or with what will take place tomorrow. We want to make sure what they stood for and the sacrifices they made for all of us are remembered for generations to come.”

1 Comment

  1. Mr. Monk
    You have been a long time inspiration to my son Kerry (he posted a comment on a previous article) about how much you taught him to deal with success and losses with class and character. You were an inspiration to him and he carried a tattered newspaper article about you in his wallet for many years, as his inspiration to try his best and live-up to your principles of work ethics and humility…. More than “class” – you are the epitomy of leadership, citenship, and goodness. Thank you

    Comment by Jean Finnega — November 29, 2006 @ 7:17 pm

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