In 1967, Jock Semple, a co-founder of the Boston Marathon, made headlines after trying to stop a female runner from participating in the race. The incident sparked a debate about gender equality in the sport and the role of women in long-distance running, and people began to question whether Jock Semple ever apologized for his actions.
Jock Semple’s Actions
On April 19, 1967, Kathrine Switzer became the first female runner to enter and complete the Boston Marathon. While she had registered under her initials, Jock Semple noticed her during the race and attempted to physically remove her from the course. He was stopped by Switzer’s boyfriend, who created a barrier between them and allowed her to continue.
The incident caused a media frenzy, with many people condemning Semple’s actions. Semple later told a reporter, “Women can’t run in the Marathon; it’s a men’s race.” He was widely criticized for his views on gender equality and for trying to prevent Switzer from participating in the race.
Did Jock Semple Apologize?
No, Jock Semple never apologized for his actions. In fact, he continued to defend his beliefs and refused to accept that women should be allowed to participate in the Boston Marathon.
In an interview with the New York Times, Semple said, “I stand by my decision to try to keep women out of the race. I don’t think women are capable of running 26 miles. It’s a man’s race, and it should remain a man’s race.”
Despite his refusal to apologize, Semple’s actions spurred a movement for gender equality in running. In 1972, the Boston Marathon officially opened its doors to female runners and since then, many women have gone on to break records and become champions in the sport.
The incident involving Jock Semple and Kathrine Switzer in 1967 sparked a conversation about gender equality in running and paved the way for female runners to participate in the Boston Marathon. Although Semple never apologized for his actions, his legacy lives on in the many female runners who have gone on to make history in the sport.