African-Americans In Sports

1466 Words 6 Pages
Emphasis on athletic success throughout their upbringings shaped these individuals into who they are today and set the stage for the current decision of African American football players leaving school early. Going further into the numbers behind this mindset reveals the underlying social variables. African-Americans have a statistical advantage when it comes to making the professional leagues; 1 in 3,500 black males turns professional compared to 1 in 10,000 white men who become a professional in sports. On top of that, 66% of African-American men between the age of 13 and 18 believe they could earn a living playing pro sports. Compared to white males that number is more than double the percentage of whites that think they can make it in the …show more content…
African Americans make up nearly 70% of the NFL, which forms a mental gap between the amount of black people in football and other sports occupations compared to non-sports jobs. This difference, in turn, leads to African-American males seeing little hope of a job in a career outside of sports. Sports become the epicenter of their focus from an early age as they view them as the greatest chance for success. The media can again be seen as the reason for this gap. They present a glamorization of black athletes in sports while blacks in other roles of society do not receive the same admiration or spotlight. Of course, society is much more interested in the sports celebrities the media places on a pedestal compared to an African American professor teaching history at a local college. However, this focus leads to African American children growing up idolizing minorities in sports compared to the hard working individuals in ordinary occupations. Also, the other side of careers that the media emphasizes is illicit, portraying these children 's primary choice of profession as sports or illegal activities. They are given two fields with either unrealistic odds of reaching the professional level or the possibility of jail time. Seeking to emulate the athletic success of superstars, while completely disregarding the other academic and …show more content…
When the debate about whether college athletes should be compensated as workers or not comes about, the primary response is that they receive an education for free via scholarship and that’s enough. Compared to the scholarship of any typical college student, these athletes’ scholarships are different. Regular students do not have a coach with the ultimate power over your education; the ability to decide if your financial aid gets renewed. Even the best academic-oriented student-athletes are forced to make concessions to sport over academics when their scholarship is on the line. This portion of the scholarship agreement tends to go unnoticed by most, but the student-athlete is the one who is forced to silently suffer. They are continuously pressed to develop their athletic ability and in turn grow their efficiency just to maintain their scholarship that got them to school in the first place. Under their current circumstances, they are essentially prohibited from being able to fully pursue their education. Perhaps granting scholarships that last five years instead to give athletes more time to finish their degree or rule changes that remove performance from the financial aid process could improve conditions. As it stands though, these rules lead to the development of efficiencies in sport that can be seen as another product of their social

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