At a “black tie optional” dinner at New Brunswick’s Hyatt Hotel, Ron Giaconia was inducted into Rutgers’ Hall of Distinguished Alumni. Terry and Fran McGovern attended the dinner. Echoing the protest staged by Olympians Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Olympics, Terry and Fran stood silently, heads down with red-gloved fists in the air while Mr. Giaconia gave a speech marveling at how a man like him, with such humble beginnings, had become so great. The crowd initially laughed at the protest thinking it was a prank but the crowd grew very silent when Terry and Fran remained motionless despite the laughs and Mr. Giaconia’s lengthening speech. After Mr. Giaconia’s speech, hotel security and a Rutgers representative escorted Terry and Fran from the room. Below is the text of the flyer they left at their dinner table places:
WE STAND IN SILENT PROTEST OF THE INSTRUMENTAL ROLE RON GIACONIA PLAYED IN ELIMINATING MEN’S CREW (LIGHTWEIGHT & HEAVYWEIGHT), MEN’S TENNIS, MEN’S SWIMMING AND MEN’S AND WOMEN’S FENCING.
WE ALSO STAND IN SILENT PROTEST OF THE UTTER CONTEMPT MR. GIACONIA HAS SHOWN THOSE TRULY DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI, STUDENT-ATHLETES AND PARENTS WHO HAVE TIRELESSLY ADVOCATED RE-INSTATEMENT OF THESE VALUABLE PROGRAMS.