I just followed / stumbled across the whole Nobby Clark Hall of fame slap in the face and the reaction of Speed TV’s Dave Despain. Mr Despain has just earned my sincere respect and admiration in his response to all of this. For those of you who don’t know who Mr Clark is and what his contribution to motorcycle history encapsulates please do some googling. There’s plenty of info but know that he was a legendary rider and later in his career he was the bike builder for that other guy known as Kenny Roberts.
The whole story is here on the Cycle World site. WTF is wrong with the AMA?
Mr Despains reply is reprinted below:
Motorcycle Hall of Fame
13515 Yarmouth Dr.
Pickerington, OH 43147
To Whom It May Concern:
This letter and the enclosed medal commemorating my induction comprise my immediate resignation from the Motorcycle Hall of Fame. I expect my name and picture to be removed without delay from all Hall of Fame materials and representations.
I take this action in response to the Hall of Fame’s unconscionable rescinding of the nomination of Nobby Clark, a motorcycling legend more than worthy of Hall of Fame membership. I believe we Hall of Famers have a special stake in the integrity of the institution and its nominating process. I have lost all faith in that process and, more importantly, in the individuals who apparently now control it.
I am deeply suspicious of media speculation that Clark’s “criminal record” is somehow grounds for the withdrawal of his nomination but given the absence of any clear and official explanation from Hall of Fame officials, that apparently is the brush with which Nobby is to be tarred. This raises a couple obvious questions: What changed in the short time between the announcement and the rescinding of Clark’s nomination and why would Clark’s ”criminal record” be grounds for a blackball when that clearly was not an issue for a number of previous inductees who also have criminal records.
I suspect the answers to these questions, if they were truly known, would do nothing to restore my faith in the integrity of the institution but in the end my resignation does not turn on those answers. Instead it is based on a simple and inescapable conclusion; given everything Nobby Clark has accomplished in this sport, if he doesn’t belong in the Motorcycle Hall of Fame then I sure as hell shouldn’t be in there.