Although the site is named The African-American Athlete, it is open to people of all creeds and colors, and from all walks of life. Yet, not a day goes by that a commenter doesn’t comment “Why The African-American Athlete? “Why can’t you get past race?” “This site is racist!”
Now, some people ask those questions in a respectful manner, and they are honestly trying to understand what the site is about. On the flip side, others rant and rave, spewing profanity and hatred. Disappointingly, this happens far more than it should, although the assertion from some whites that the mere name, ‘The African-American Athlete’, is racist and discriminatory is laughable.
If the site was racist, you wouldn’t be on it,”.
I also try to remind people that African-Americans didn’t start the color game. It was whites who decided that just because of the color of black folks skin, that generations would live as slaves then as second class citizens with no voting rights. They would go to segregated schools, live in segregated communities, ride in the back of the bus, and drink from separate water fountains.
What people also don’t understand is those discriminatory practices have given white American an enormous jump start on life.
And now, just because brave black, white, and brown people sacrificed to demand that America live up to its promises to all people, that have made things better, we should simply forget everything, start from scratch, and ignore the subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, injustices that come from today’s sophisticated forms of discrimination.
Hell, I would love to get past the issues of race. And actually, if the rest of the sports world conducted itself with the openess and diversity of the National Basketball Association, we could get there. While the NBA is not perfect, it is light years ahead of most other sports and societal entities for that matter.
I have no clue how many black coaches or GMs are currently in the NBA. And, that is how it should be. There is no need to count, because I know the NBA is going to find the right person for the job. And, if the team decides to pick a white guy to take over for a black guy, it is no big deal. Bill Russell was the first black coach in the NBA all the way back in 1966. The Raiders picked Hall of Famer Art Shell to be the first black coach in the modern era in 1989.
The time span between Russell taking over the job as coach in Boston in 1966, and Shell’s hiring in 1989, is still about how far the NFL is behind the NBA.
And because of that, for a lot of black people _ and I must say, not all black people _ it is very significant Cam Newton will be the fourth consecutive African-American quarterback to start a Super Bowl game. Consider, of the 100 quarterbacks that have started Super Bowl games as of Sunday, only six have been black.
So, yeah, it is worth noting. In addition, the other issues that appear on The African-American Athlete page are worth noting, like the lack of black coaches in college and professional football.
Of course, some of our white friends naturally think black folk are bitching, moaning, and whining when we identify the facts, such as ‘white men almost always hire white men’ to coach football on the FBS level. Just read the TIDE report headed by Dr. Richard Lapchick at University of Central Florida.
However, quite to the contrary, ain’t nobody bitching, moaning and whining. Bitching, moaning and whining would be black folk clamoring for more diversity in the NHL. However, we know blacks don’t have the history of contribution to hockey to warrant this demand. These issues of diversity in the NFL and NCAA athletics are for real, whether you agree or not.
So, when the NFL, NCAA and others reach a level of diversity of the NBA, maybe we can get past color. But, so far, no other sports entity isn’t even close. Until that time comes, it is highly unlikely that very many people of color will be getting past race anytime soon.