In 1932, racial separation de jure and de facto was pervasive in the United States, and sports were no exception. It was inevitable that there would be racial conflicts as the Los Angeles Olympiad approached. In June 1932, owing to university policy, four African American athletes were barred from Olympic track-and-field qualifying meets at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. In general, in the early 1930s, sports and sports facilities were marked by racial separatism. Since 1898, professional baseball had been the national pastime—play-for-pay basketball and football were of secondary importance among sports fans. Such was the situation in 1932 when the Los Angeles Olympics were held. African Americans were restricted to their own leagues. For the next fourteen years, until World War II ended and a somewhat more tolerant racial atmosphere prevailed, "Negroes" were missing altogether. African American track-and-field athletes encountered formidable barriers throughout the first half of the twentieth century. A virulent racial bacillus also infected professional boxing.