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Monday, April 20, 2009

Oh I'll Use Any Excuse to Quote the Godfather........Black Athletes & Intelligence Are Not Mutually Exclusive Precepts.......

Check out this snippet written by Casey Gane-McCalla for the Huffingtopn Post:

Before playing the Stanford team in the Final Four, UConn women's coach, Geno Auriemma, said people underestimated Stanford because they think white players are soft. More pointedly, he pointed out that his players, who are predominantly African-American, should be given the same respect for their discipline for which Stanford's team was praised. The coach was simply exposing stereotypes that have been around for a long time.

Black athletes are usually given credit for their "natural athleticism," while whites are credited for their "hard work," "discipline" and "knowledge of the game"; as if Black athletes are naturally given the gift of great athleticism, and white people become great athletes through hard work, discipline and intelligence.

Every Black athlete who is successful has worked very hard and is knowledgeable of their sport. Every white athlete who is successful has natural athletic ability.

The problem with stereotypes in sports is that they often lead to general stereotypes. If you say "white men can't jump," why not "Black men can't read defenses"? And if Black men can't read defenses, maybe they can't read books either?

Sports stereotypes have a real effect in the real world. Most employers are not concerned with employees' natural athletic abilities, so stereotypes of African-Americans being athletically superior for the most part do not help Blacks in the real world. However, the stereotypes of whites being hard working, disciplined and smart are helpful to them in finding employment.

One of the most prevalent stereotypes in sports is that of the Black quarterback. Both Rush Limbaugh and former sports commentator, Jimmy the Greek, have caught flack for their philosophies on African-American quarterbacks. Jimmy's explanation of how blacks were bred for physical skill but whites were bred for intelligence was blatant racism, but there have been many more subtle ways at insinuating the same point.

The entire article can be found here.

But then there's the antics from the peanut gallery (as detailed by Stephen A. Smith's diatribe...below) that torpedoes the very initiative the article promulgates:

I'll provide my take on this issue in a few hours.....those darned time constraints!

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