The Awesome Roland Rogers

Updated: January 10, 2013
Arthur Piccolo Co-Founder Black Athlete Sports Network
To All,
I am shocked and grieved to just learn of Roland’s death from Tony’s email. Roland and I created BASN back in 1999. But I knew Roland even earlier when he came to see me about his passion for New York City and for history, and especially then for the upcoming 350th anniversary of New York City which was only celebrated because of Roland’s efforts which he began long before 2003.
And I remember well all the difficulties Roland had to overcome to mount a celebration so many others should have joined in but did not.
Roland remained undaunted.
I think this photo captures Roland’s spirit and in fact shows Roland here at Bowling Green holding one of the 350th anniversary medallions he created as the permanent record of that historic event, and Roland employing his flair and imagination and determination had these special medallions made from silver that had been buried under the World Trade Center towers when they was destroyed.
I was also Roland’s campaign manager when he ran for Mayor of New York City in 1997 and in spite of the odds got his name on the ballot.
You may not realize it but if there had been a truly fair election process in NYC and if Roland had been allowed into the debates and providing public funds like the other candidates were he could have beaten the odds to win because he could have and would have impressed so many voters with his style and his enthusiasm and energy and passion yes New York City Mayor Roland Rogers !
As for BASN it deserved and deserves still to be a much bigger success story. Roland sure tried even if many of his efforts were in vein. I hope and pray that BASN will be Roland’s permanent legacy a BASN that does become all that it can be.
Roland and I had our disagreements he could be “challenging” for sure – maybe you had your own similar experiences – but most of all Roland was Awesome and I wish he were still here so I could tell him.
With deep sadness,
Arthur Piccolo Co-Founder Black Athlete Sports Network
Sidebar: Arthur  wrote the controversial BLACK BOX lead story each day for BASN for 3+  years 



  1. HBell

    January 12, 2013 at 4:16 am

    It is 4 am Sat morning in DC and I am just picking up my messages on my cell phone. My friend and sports Talk host Cowboy Reggie in Richmond, Virginia has just left me a message about the sudden passing of Roland Rogers.
    I totally agree with Arthur Piccolo, “Roland could be a little challeging!”
    I remember when he invited me to NY to discuss with him the idea for “Black Athlete!” He wanted me to join him in this endeavor and I did become one of his first columnist. Roland and I clashed like 2 bulls in an antique shop. It was his way or the highway and I chose the highway (folks have said as much about me). Despite our differences I take my hat off to him because I know his accomplishments were against “All Odds.”

    Roland, RIP.

  2. Joep de Koning

    February 5, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    This is the most unexpected announcement I have received this year. As far as I know Roland was in great health and had started a new life and family not too long ago. Hadn’t he moved to Poland and what happened there? He was a passionate promoter of the good in people and believed in the principle of Tolerance as the foundation of American Liberty. That jurisprudence was New York State’s historic birthright as New Netherland – a provincial extension of the Dutch republic in 1624. It culminated into New York City receiving municipal rights in 1653 (then named New Amsterdam as of 1625.) Roland was intent on commemorating the 350th anniversary of New York City’s municipal charter with interfaith activities in Bowling Green in front of the Custom House/American Indian Museum which stands on the place of 1625 Fort Amsterdam. It was a great success with priests, reverends and ministers from all ethnicities holding public sermons. The birthday party in the Custom House was a winner with many City Council members attending, including Speaker Miller and, yes, even the German and Dutch consuls! This was written up in The New York Sun of January 23, 2003. It was just one of many of Roland’s legacies. His young son has reason to be proud of his father’s passions and accomplishement. My deepest condolences to him and his mother whom he revered.

  3. Brewer Shettles

    October 22, 2013 at 3:30 am

    needs to be – “Say oh God how do we survive”

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