The Cost Of Ignoring Jackie

Robinson's rule could have kept Espy from trouble

Mike Espy's lawyer Reid Weingarten was right on the money when he dismissed the prosecution's case as a "relentless pursuit of the trivial." Espy's transgressions were of the sort better judged in the court of public opinion than in a court of law. In that venue, he has already been punished. Despite the bravado he flashed on the courthouse steps when he denounced independent counsel Donald C. Smaltz as a "schoolyard bully," Espy knows he blew a historic opportunity by losing sight of age-old black moral traditions.

Back in 1986, when Espy became the first black elected to Congress from...

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