NewsBlack Running Group Sues Boston Marathon, Police Alleging Racial Profiling

Black Running Group Sues Boston Marathon, Police Alleging Racial Profiling

Although four of the last five Boston Marathon winners have hailed from Kenya, the race’s organizers face a lawsuit declaring that it has not welcomed a diverse group of supporters during recent competitions.

As WMUR reports, the lawsuit, filed by lawyers from Lawyers for Civil Rights, alleges that members of the group were singled out and harassed by officers after a spectator fired a confetti cannon in the direction of a runner the group was supporting. According to the lawsuit, members of the group were allegedly penned in by law enforcement officers, while a group of white supporters were not bothered by the police. 

Frances Ramirez, a co-founder of TrailblazHers, said in a statement released to the Boston Globe that BAA President Jack Fleming’s apology to the police was “completely backwards.” Ramirez also said that the apology indicates that the BAA agreed with the police’s actions. “They should be apologizing to us—the spectators of color who were racially profiled and harassed. The BAA clearly approved [of] the discrimination we experienced last year.”

Rock continued, “They claim to want to elevate diverse leaders in the sport, but they have consistently fallen short of this goal. Nevertheless, we are a determined group committed to making a fundamental change in this community. We will continue to push forward and work towards our mission despite the obstacles that we have faced.”

Oren Sellstrom, the Litigation Director for the Boston branch of Lawyers for Civil Rights, told CBS News that the issue at the heart of the lawsuit is the unequal treatment the group received. “The issue is not police presence at the marathon. The issue is unequal treatment.”

According to the lawsuit, “As the Boston Athletic Association (‘BAA’)…describes it, spectators ‘play a powerful role in fostering a sense of belonging and community for participants, volunteers, staff, and fellow spectators.’” The lawsuit also alleges that the BAA “does not extend that same sense of belonging and community back to all spectators equally.”

RELATED CONTENT: Boston Marathon Winner Donates Medal To Victims

Source: Black Enterprise


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here



Don't miss