There’s a Resurgence of Great White Athletes

Jason Whitlock, Kansas City Star, January 10, 2009

There was no time to say this Thursday night when Tim Tebow and the Florida Gators were winning another national championship, but a significant thought ran through my mind:

We’re witnessing a resurgence of great white athletes in football and basketball.

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Although he didn’t win the Heisman Trophy this season, it’s quite obvious Tebow is the best football player in the college game.

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Tebow, the 2007 Heisman winner, was robbed this year. He’s a freakish athlete in the mold of Deion Sanders, Bo Jackson, Jim Brown and Vince Young. Not surprisingly, Sanders, Brown and Young never won the Heisman Trophy. For some reason we struggle to properly honor and recognize our most physically gifted athletes.

That might have to do with the fact that we generally perceive those athletes to be black.

Well, now here comes Tim Tebow, and [he] appears to be a novelty, a white athlete with limitless athleticism.

I think he’s a symbol of what has already transpired and what we’ll soon recognize. The boys from the suburbs are spending just as much time as the boyz from the ‘hood working on their bodies and skills.

I don’t have any hard evidence. {snip} I’m basing it off what I see when I travel the country watching the best athletes compete.

This wasn’t discussed much at the time of the selections a year ago, but in the 2008 Pro Bowl the four defensive ends were all white, including Jared Allen. {snip}

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For the past few years we’ve watched a number of white kids dominate college basketball. Tyler Hansbrough is this year’s leading candidate for player of the year. {snip}

And, of course, we’ve seen many foreign-born white players have tremendous success in the NBA, including Canada’s Steve Nash, the winner of two MVP awards.

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Mentioning Vick raises my last theory on why the real or perceived gap between black and white athletes might be closing.

Too many young black men are rotting in jail.

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When you hear the stat rattled off about more young black men being in jail than in college that also means that there are a lot of talented athletes throwing away college scholarships by running afoul of the law.

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