David Whiteis (Chicago) wrote: I always loved The Sheik as a kid, for the same reason I loved horror movies — he was scary enough to be thrilling, yet just cartoonish enough to not cross the line into nightmare-inducing.
In more recent years, I’ve discovered a new reason to respect him. The following anecdote comes from a tribute to The Sheik that was posted on the website devoted to him:
“In a Texas arena, during those pre-civil rights era days, black fans were seated in a balcony behind chicken wire. Farhat got to the ring, and saw this seating setup. A very real-life Edward Farhat got very upset, and in full Sheik gimmick, he climbed up 15 feet and ripped down the wire.
“He got back in the ring and locked up with a shocked Brazil, who asked Farhat, ‘What the hell did you do?’ Sheik told Brazil that the local promoters were racist @$#[email protected]$#s, and to hell with them. So the ‘hated enemies’ were in a clinch in the corner laughing at what a real-life Edward Farhat had done, and could get away with in the segregated South…simply because he did it as ‘The Sheik.’
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