Salon’s Michael Scherer called up every surviving (and one dead) member of UVA’s 1971-73 football teams, and it paid off — they found the disgruntled guys:
“Allen said he came to Virginia because he wanted to play football in a place where ‘blacks knew their place,’” said Dr. Ken Shelton, a white radiologist in North Carolina who played tight end for the University of Virginia football team when Allen was quarterback. “He used the N-word on a regular basis back then.”
The racial slur story is corroborated by two anonymous teammates, making it three for “racist redneck” and seven for “he loved the brothers like a brother” with nine more falling somewhere in the middle. It’s the character assassins who have the best anecdotes, naturally (no hunting trip is complete until you put a dead doe’s head in the mailbox of the closest black family).
We don’t know if any of this true or not, and we wouldn’t be surprised to learn that it is or isn’t. Regardless of whether Allen threw the n-word around back the early ’70s, we’re sure he held some gross ideas about race. He was trying real hard for that redneck thing, and, like any college freshman convert to some new subculture, he went over the top.
And while we are the last people to call for a close Senate race to focus on matters of substance, and we are looking forward to the next round of shocking disclosures about Jim Webb’s past, we would like everyone to try to find damning stories of prejudice that take place in the last 10 or 15 years, if possible. Also, try to keep the racial slurs really obscure. Way funnier.