(Our first T & T teamup article!)
In our first installment of “Prove Me Wrong, America!” We will investigate a stereotype best described by America’s favorite disgraced former sportscaster, Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder:
“The black is a better athlete to begin with because he’s been bred to be that way, because of his high thighs and big thighs that goes up into his back, and they can jump higher and run faster because of their bigger thighs and he’s bred to be the better athlete because this goes back all the way to the Civil War when during the slave trade’n the big… the owner… the slave owner would, would, would, would breed his big black to his big woman so that he could have ah, ah big, ah big, ah big black kid see…”
As you can tell from his flawless diction and logic, Mr. Snyder was obviously an expert on the subject of African American’s genetic predisposition to athletic dominance. It kinda makes you wonder why he was fired immediately after saying this.
At first glance, it’s not hard to tell how this stereotype has thrived in our culture.
The NBA and NFL are dominated by black players, with African Americans accounting for 61 percent of NFL players and 78 percent of NBA players. A black athlete holds almost all records in track and field events, and has since 1984.
While it’s true that African Americans make up the majority of players in certain sports, the reason has nothing to do with our genes, but a potent combination of factors.
A large number of African Americans live in the inner city, and there are a lot of basketball courts there – but not a lot of baseball fields, which explains in part why the number of blacks in Major league baseball is close to eight percent. There are also not a large number of large frozen lakes – which explains the lack of black Hockey players, and the large number of Russian and Canadian ones. Generally blacks participate in sports that do not require expensive equipment. However, many sports require expensive equipment, whether its swimming pools, compound bows, or designer steroids.
For many blacks sports are their only ticket to college success, and even after college they rarely have business opportunities that they can just transition into like other graduates. Our dads don’t have businesses or connected friends that we can work for. Our unemployment rate is roughly double the national average, even for college graduates.
And finally, the pool of sports that people think about is a little myopic. Sure blacks participate in football, basketball and baseball, but think about the Olympics for instance. There are hundreds of sports, most of which have little to no black participation, but the same demand for athleticism. The smaller the pool of evidence, the more inaccurate the conclusion.
This will of course change. In the future, there will be game breaking white running backs, and unerring black archers. There will be a black Michael Phelps, and a white Lebron. And when it happens, we will probably ignore it because of cognitive bias.