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Athletes Should Not Promote Stereotypes

March 21, 1992

In response to your story on Byron Scott (March 17):

Like many other Afro-Americans, I am sick and tired of reading and hearing sad stories told by black athletes, who, by repeatedly telling these tales, reinforce stereotypes about black men and black neighborhoods.

Professional athletes are a very small minority in a race of more than 30 million black Americans. But, since they are interviewed more frequently than any other segment of the race, their power in reinforcing stereotypes is much greater than their numbers.

These often-told, often-repeated, negative stories are insulting to the majority of black people who are law-abiding, who do not grovel in self-pity, fear, shame, or personal failure. Many young, black males have no interest whatsoever in being sports participants. Many black families are crime-free, hard-working and economically sound.

Scott seems like a nice man, basically, a loving husband and father as well as a successful, well-paid athlete. Let us hear more about the positive aspects of his personal/professional life.

A.S. (DOC) YOUNG

Los Angeles

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