The Dominance Of Black Athletes In Sport.

1207 words - 5 pages

The pre-dominance of black athletes in world sprinting is blatant, but the argument still occurs, is it due to their biological and genetic make-up, or is their ability to dominate in the world class sprinting, because they have been shaped by the societies from which they come? This will be argued.This is an ongoing debate since the uprising of black athletes from around 1945 when the Supreme Court decided to make racial segregation illegal. (J. Coakley sport in society 1986) Whether the history of black participation in sport can ever be regained is debatable; in the case of males it has been blurred by traditions in racism. (J.Coakley 1986)Desegregation at the level of professional sport is a phenomenon that has been illegal since 1954. People of African descent remain represented in professional sports in America, especially track and Field events such as sprinting. There is no dispute about the obvious domination of world class sprinting by Afro-Americans and Africans. The development seen in the dramatic ascent of the black athlete in the 20th century has been linear.A close look at the reasons for this presents a wide range of different theories by credible and not so credible scientists, anthropologists and sociologists, to name a few. One of the main arguments is that black sprinters are dominant due to their stronger sense of perseverance.John George statesDue to social environment and subcultural norms regarding certain types of athletic prowess, some blacks may be more driven than whites-also because for many, this has been one of the few ways out of an oppressive situation. Black sportsmen may also find their perseverance for success driven by the yearning for retribution against whites for the slavery that occurred so long ago.2Here arises the great debate of nature versus nurture. In the words of Bale and Sang it is "culture, not biology, attitude not altitude, nurture not nature," which are the variables behind success of sprinters, amongst others sportsmen, in the 'rationalised and regulated world of achievement sport.' These world class sprinters of today endure endless, methodical training, starting as young boys, to get to where they are today.The key theme here is not that the sprinter is a product of where he or she may come from, but what happens there. The culture, society, whereabouts and the upbringing of a person, that may have the power to shape their level of determination and endurance to succeed. Famous sprinters such as Leo Miles Mills, Sunday Emmanuel and Antoine Boussombo who all originally come from NorthWest regions of Africa.Coming from third-world countries where poverty and living conditions are less than sufficient, only 36% of the people of Nigeria have access to safe water, unemployment is very high and life expectancy is around 50! The lifestyles these Africans lead indicate that these sprinters don't lack the habits and inclinations demanded by this sport and precipitate the training period needed to...

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