The article which is entitled Track and field has a problem. His name is Steve Prefontaine can be found here:
He seemingly ties the worship of Pre to unconscious racism: "To be even more direct: this fetishizing, this hagiography, underscores the race and class problems that bedevil track and field. "
He calls out Wejo for calling Keira D'Amato's AR as the coolest track and field story of the century.
I don't think Abrahmson understands why Weldon said that. I probably should just let Weldon come on her and explain it but himself, but from an LRC perspective, I totally get why right after the Houston marathon finished, Weldon sort of spur on the moment went to the messageboard to write that. LetsRun was founded with the motto of "Where your dreams become reality" by two so-so distance runners who hoped if worked hard enough, trained smart enough that the sky was the limit. Thus D'.amato's story of being someone who didn't have a pro contract out of college, didn't compete seriously for 7+ years, but came back to the sport with two kids and a full time job because she loved it and then broke the marathon AR really resonated with all of the masses.
Abrahmson cites a bunch of amazing athletes that Athing Mu and Usain Bolt who are obviously way better athletes and way more significant to the sport but the story of "supremely talented teen phenom dominates sport as a pro" is quite common in track and all sports really whether it's the NBA (Lebron), tennis (Williams sister), golf (Tiger,) swimming (Phelps/Ledecky) and it's hard for the average person to relate to that. Plus all of those stories are the same. So one isn't really cooler than the other.
I do agree with Abrahamson that putting every track meet in the Willamette Valley is a bad idea but I think it has nothing to do with Steve Prefontaine's race. The reality is it's common for track meets to be named after fallen stars because there aren't really teams to worship. It's not unique to the US. Pietro Mennea has a meet named after him so does Ivo Van Damme.
I'm not sure why Alan constantly wants to make every argument racial. In his mind, we must be reminded, that if you don't like Max Siegel, you might be racist. If you like Pre, same thing. The reality is Kip Keino has a stadium named after him and we even named a mile after him in Ithaca, NY of all places.
I"m not sure if Abrahamson understands that a ton of the Pre worship is the result of brilliant marketing by Nike. It's easier for them to market a love for a man - who is intrinsicially tied to Nike - than it is to a company. No one is nostalgic when they go to the Nike / Adidas Classic.