Written in 1981, during the prime of basketball player Julius Erving’s career, “I’m Not Calling You Doctor, Julius” was an Op-Ed printed by the Wall Street Journal. The piece was recently uncovered by Toike archivists after the Toike purchased the small, New York based publication. At the time, the piece was widely panned for its ridiculous demand of Mr. Erving, but praised for its respectful tone,
*The Toike has replicated the article below, but has removed terms that would be offensive to modern readers.
Good day, Mr. Erving.
I’m sorry to bother you but I can’t help but notice that you call yourself ‘Dr. J’ when you in fact do not have a medical degree.
Now I’m sure that this was merely an oversight on your part, Mr. Erving. In all likelihood, this nom-de-court was bestowed upon you by fans or commentators and you in no way meant to mislead the public.
In any case, I believe the proper thing for you to do is renounce this title and publicly clarify that you do not hold a medical degree. This is not to say that you are not a leading expert in your field. However, medical professionals spend years studying just so they can perform crucial healthcare practices. A special title granted to them, and them alone, seems like the least we as a society can do to thank them.
Thank you for your understanding, Mr. Erving. Now that this matter is settled, we at the Wall Street Journal can go back to doing what we do best. Telling the people to ignore the advice of medical professionals regarding the [HIV/AIDS] epidemic because they’re probably lying to us.