Controversy over the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame’s treatment of Derrek “Nobby” Clark has left Kenny Roberts Sr. asking to be removed from hall’s membership list.
Roberts, one of the world’s best-known motorcycle racers from the ’70s and ’80s, isn’t the only member of the hall who wants out, either. Former AMA racing hero Dick Mann and motorsports journalist Dave Despain have both said they wish to rescind their membership as well, thanks to the controversy.
The controversy started back in early June when the Hall said Nobby Clark, a famous tuner who worked with many world championship motorcycles, would be inducted into the shrine. Then a few weeks later, the decision was reversed. Details were sketchy at first; the Hall said Clark wasn’t supposed to be on the final ballot in the first place.
Now, accusations are flying left and right, with those involved (and many who aren’t) accusing Hall officials of cronyism and the like. Some of the people involved are saying a “good-old-boys” network conspired to make sure Clark got into the Hall, when he wasn’t supposed to be on the ballot. People on the other side of the argument are saying the same “good-old-boys” network conspired to keep him out, because of his criminal record.
Who’s to say? Since it’s the AMA’s Hall of Fame, it’s not our problem up here in Canada anyway — instead, we should note that when it comes to an institution like this, openness and transparency are key to its credibility.