Open Letter from USBF Board of Directors - Nov. 16, 2007
The USBF is proud of the achievements of our bridge teams in Shanghai; USA teams won Gold and Bronze in the Senior Bowl, Gold in the Venice Cup and Silver in the Bermuda Bowl, an outstanding accomplishment. The players are all great competitors and outstanding world champions. We do not, however, agree with the actions of the Venice Cup winners at the prize-giving ceremony, where they held up a sign saying "we did not vote for Bush".
The victorious women were supported financially by many United States citizens who had made direct or indirect contributions to the USBF and to the ACBL International Fund which provides financial support for North American teams playing in international events. As representatives of all of those people and of all of the members of the USBF, the champions had an obligation to behave in a manner that all of their supporters could be proud of. Their statement made some people less than proud. As such, it demonstrated conduct unbecoming a member of the USBF when representing the USBF on the international stage.
World Bridge Championships, like Olympic events, are intended as a respite from politics. India plays against Pakistan. Israel plays against Arab countries. All in a spirit of good will. It is simply not the time or place for any team to make a political statement -- and all participants should know that. The championship rules expressly require participants to abide by the provisions governing Olympic athletes, including the Olympic Charter ban on demonstrations and political propaganda. The women’s team may not have intended their sign as political but it was viewed by many on both sides as making a political statement.
Whatever the players’ intentions, the USBF cannot condone or ignore the actions of our Venice Cup champions. The USBF has commenced proceedings to review those actions. There will be a hearing in two weeks in San Francisco, at the next ACBL national championship, to determine if sanctions are warranted. No sanctions whatsoever are currently in place.
Many of the USBF Board members have received questions about what is happening with regard to the incident at the closing ceremony in Shanghai. Board members cannot engage in discussions of this matter. The Board has considered the matter and acted promptly. For more information, see the Minutes of the USBF Board for 10/15/07 , 10/18/07 , and 10/25/07 as well as the letter sent to the Presidents of the WBF and CCBA on October 17th.
Notice of 2009 USBF Board Election
ATTENTION ALL USBF MEMBERS
This Fall the USBF will conduct an election to fill 3 seats on its Board of Directors. All three seats are for a three-year term.
USBF Board members must be currently active USBF members, having paid the 2009 annual active member dues of $50.
The USBF Nominating Committee has nominated Cheri Bjerkan, Joan Gerard & Howard Weinstein to fill the three seats.