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November 04, 2005

This Just In: Lanky Black Dudes Are Kinda Speedy

I dropped this link in the last post, but I'll quote a little bit of this article. The writer is black, not that that matters, because I'm sure he's not a "real" black, but some sort swarthy-complexioned white guy who's really into the J. Giles Band ("they're so funky") and Peter Cetera.

While race is an inseparable element in sports, thoughtful discussion of the topic makes some squeamish.

DeBerry [coach of the Air Force Academy football team] looked at black receivers running past his slow and usually white defensive backs and said he wants more fast black kids, so his team has a better chance to win.


[DeBerry] has received a reprimand from the academy, in fact, for saying it seemed to him that African American players run very, very well. DeBerry was quick to add, almost seamlessly, that he would be open to having players of any race who are faster than his kids, but that black kids appeared to be faster.

Then all hell broke loose, and by Wednesday the coach was fighting back tears and saying, "I want everyone to understand that I never intended to offend anyone."

DeBerry has nothing whatsoever to apologize for. I understand that any kind of categorization, especially along racial lines, can be risky. One of DeBerry's former black players (who loves his coach) e-mailed me this week to point out that any such comments put the speaker on a very slippery slope, and that's certainly true.

But our fear of any discussion involving race should not eliminate common-sense observations. Since Jason Sehorn retired from the NFL a season or so ago, how many white starting cornerbacks are there in the NFL? The answer, as far as I can find, is zero.

It's just so silly.

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posted by Ace at 05:06 PM

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