July 9, 2006 |
BACK in 1978, after graduating from high school, about 20 of my friends went off to be college athletes. Some went with full scholarships, some went as walk-ins. Almost all were black. That fall, I visited two of my best friends, who were playing football for a Riverside County junior college. They'd been recruited by a celebrated coach and promised that they would be part of a great team. It was cold the night they played and won.
April 7, 2006 |
A study comparing the graduation rates of black college athletes at Division I colleges who began school in 1984 with those who enrolled in 1998 showed double-digit percentage increases among males and females. According to the study, released Thursday by the University of Central Florida's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, 52% of all black athletes who began school in 1998 graduated within six years, a 17% increase over the graduation rate of black athletes who enrolled in 1984.
February 19, 2006 |
The critics questioned Shani Davis' sense of patriotism. They questioned his loyalty to the other U.S. speedskaters after he skipped the team pursuit race last week to focus on individual events. Not one to do much talking to reporters, Davis answered his skeptics the best way he knew how. By skating fast. By skating into history. With a resounding victory in the 1,000 meters Saturday night, the 23-year-old from Chicago became the first black to earn individual gold at a Winter Olympics.
May 28, 2005
Bill Plaschke, in your column "College Baseball Clearly Short of Black Players," you bemoan that "the lack of diversity will again be impossible to hide." Answer: Who cares, there's nothing to hide. You've gone from writing about a subject you don't know much about, sports, (remember "UCLA owns this town"?) to a subject you know about even less, liberal social commentary that does not belong in the Sports section. Baseball is one of the last free areas in life where the best players play due to their skill.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 10, 2003 |
The pair of Olympic sprinters stood on the victory stand in Mexico City. As the U.S. national anthem played, each bowed his head and raised a black-gloved fist in protest of racial inequality in America. Gold medalist Tommie Smith cradled a boxed olive branch as an emblem of peace. John Carlos, third in the same 200-meter dash, wore love beads with his bronze medal. Their shoeless feet, clad in black socks, represented poverty among African Americans. The year was 1968.
March 30, 2003 |
Before the lunch bell rings each school day, I watch my students. Their eyes dance with excitement. Their bodies lean toward the door like sprinters awaiting the starter's gun. Their feet anxiously tap the floor. Then, at the sound of my voice, they are released from a fate worse than death -- history class. The girls run to various parts of the school, but the boys are off to the basketball courts. I was once one of these boys. As a youth, I loved basketball. I was faithful to my first love.