Mens Tennis Forums banner

1 - 20 of 244 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,752 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I post this after the topic was raised in the "N Generation" thread. Some posters seem to believe that the Williams sisters dominate partly (but not all) because of their being black--and their skin color gives them a natural advantage.

I myself, think this is insulting and offensive, but some posters seemed to be taken off guard that their beliefs would be considered racist.

I open the this for discussion:
1. Do you feel that race is a factor in an athlete's success?
2. Do you feel that believing this is racist or not?
3. Should we expect an up and comer like James Blake to start to dominate?

I'll start with posting an article from the BBC on a book recently published on this topic:


Genetics 'the key to black success'
'Diet, skill and training make little difference if you're the wrong colour'

Race issues in the UK: special report

Denis Campbell, Sports News Correspondent
Sunday January 23, 2000
The Observer

David Beckham, Tim Henman and Michael Owen may be the last of a dying breed. Sporting heroes with white skin are an endangered species, and black competitors' already-huge domination of many major sports is set to become absolute, according to a new book.

Its author has reignited sport's biggest controversy - are black athletes naturally better than whites? - by claiming that white sportsmen, who feature less and less among the medal-winners and record-breakers, will soon not even make it as far as the starting-blocks.

Taboo: Why black athletes dominate sport and why we're afraid to talk about it has seen writer Jon Entine condemned as a racist who views blacks as beasts, and praised for daring to throw off the blanket of political correctness covering sport's racial divide.

His conclusion that whites are increasingly the also-rans of world sport has focused attention on the declining number of Caucasians in sports which, until a genera tion ago, contained only a few black faces. 'In almost every sport blacks have a decided advantage and we ignore scientific truth at our own risk,' says Entine. 'They are better at sprinting, endurance running and jumping - the sort of skills required for success in most major sports these days.'

He says that the supremacy of black sportsmen at the Olympics, football World Cup and world athletics championships is now so great that 'whites and Asians are in danger of becoming mere asterisks when compared to darker-skinned competitors'.

The combination of genetics, biology and ancestry favouring blacks is so powerful that whites can do nothing to reverse the trend, according to the Emmy award-win ning television journalist, who deploys some startling statistics to support his argument. Blacks form just one-eighth of the world population yet make up 70 per cent of players in the US National Football League and 85 per cent of basketball professionals. In England, blacks are just 2 per cent of the population but form 20 per cent of league footballers.

Entine argues that different population groups, rather than entire races, have different physical and physiological attributes which can help make them brilliant, or hopeless, at particular sports. It is a matter of genetics, rather than blacks being denied the chance to make their mark in other areas.

'The complete domination of the 100 metres by people of West African origin means no white man will ever again win the event. It simply won't happen', claims Entine. In other words, champions are born, not made. Diet, skill and training make little difference if you're the wrong colour.

Thus Eurasian whites are over-represented in some sports, such as weightlifting, wrestling, hammer-throwing and the shot-put because they naturally have the strongest upper bodies in the world, while the Chinese and Japanese dominate gymnastics because they are the most innately flexible population group.

Likewise athletes with West African ancestry have a near-monopoly on sprinting because of their inherent speed, while the aerobic prowess of those with East and North African forebearers explains why Kenyans, Ethiopians and Moroccans hold almost every record for everything from the 1,000 metres to the marathon.

Entine has hit the same raw nerve as Sir Roger Bannister, who sparked off a furious backlash in 1995 by saying black athletes had 'certain natural anatomical advantages' over whites. Five years on, blacks are even more successful. One critic claims Taboo is really saying 'that blacks are closer to beasts and animals in terms of their genetic, physical and anatomical make-up than they are to the rest of humanity. That's where the indignity comes in'.

Entine responds by citing scientific studies proving that the popular notion that 'white men can't jump' is actually true. He quotes black tennis legend Arthur Ashe's belief that 'sociology can't explain it. I have to believe we blacks have something that gives us an edge' and Olympic champion Carl Lewis's statement that 'backs, physically in many cases, are made better'.

But Tessa Sanderson, who won Olympic gold for Britain in the javelin, disputes that blacks like her have any natural advantages. 'Hard work, determination and the will to win are what makes a good athlete. People say that black people are dominating sport these days but if you look at the javelin, there's hardly any. And in swimming, whites are still dominant. In sport the best man wins, whether you're black, white or whatever.'

Nigel Walsh, editor of Athletics Weekly, is also sceptical. 'I don't believe people of a particular racial group are genetically predisposed to doing a certain sport well. Just because all the recent 100-metre record-holders have been black doesn't mean the next one won't be white.'

The multi-cultural nature of British athletics seems to disprove Entine's theory. Daley Thompson became one of Britain's first black sporting icons when he took gold at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, but the newest decathlon star, former lifeguard Dean Macey, is white. While Britain's most high-profile sportswoman, black heptathlete Denice Lewis, is tipped to win gold at September's Olympics in Sydney, so too is 10,000-metre runner Paula Radcliffe, who is white. Both are ranked second in the world at their event.


Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2002
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,530 Posts
1. Do you feel that race is a factor in an athlete's success?
Depends on sport.

In tennis - whites have a natural advantage, because the sport requires some things for which typical black kids ( due to many reasons ) are not always accustomed from their typical childhood games - namely - tactical thinking, keeping their temper under control and staying cool under pressure, etc. But if a black athlete manages to learn the "white"s approach to the sport, like Williams did, that makes for an awesome combination.


2. Do you feel that believing this is racist or not?

It has nothing to do with racism. Blacks are better in basketball. Whites are better in tennis. Blacks are better in track and field. Whites, Indians and Chinese are better in engineering. It's not racism, it is statistics.

3. Should we expect an up and comer like James Blake to start to dominate?

Best black male prospects ( unlike the best black female prospects ) will almost inavoidably be lured by other sports, more popular among African-Americans. Besides, tennis isn't much money. So, I find that possibility as minor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28,276 Posts
It has nothing to do with racism. Blacks are better in basketball. Whites are better in tennis. Blacks are better in track and field. Whites, Indians and Chinese are better in engineering. It's not racism, it is statistics.
Yes it's statistics, but it's not as cut and dry as that.

There are a lot of factors that effect racial stats.

For example - although the gap has significantly decreased in the past 15 years or so - European Americans score higher on IQ tests than African Americans. In turn, Japanese students score significantly higher than do their European Americans counterparts.

Doesn't this mean that we can conclude Japanese people are smarter than white Americans, who are in turn smarter than black Americans?

Of course not - it's not that simple. There are many factors that effect IQ - culture differences, educational differences, and economical differences all play a rather complex role.

In fact there has been no solid evidence to prove that there is significant difference in IQ based soley on race.

Clearly some of the same principles can be applied to sport?

There are exceptions of course - I would have to think that black Athletes are better built for track sports, for example, seeing as a black athelete holds roughly every significant world record in the sport.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,591 Posts
y_s said:
Depends on sport.

In tennis - whites have a natural advantage, because the sport requires some things for which typical black kids ( due to many reasons ) are not always accustomed from their typical childhood games - namely - tactical thinking, keeping their temper under control and staying cool under pressure, etc. But if a black athlete manages to learn the "white"s approach to the sport, like Williams did, that makes for an awesome combination.

I don't want to be the angry black chick here, well, have we ever seen Mrs. Guga really angry... maybe, I hope not! I mean, I know what you mean by 'typical black kids.' But I would assume the 'typical black kid' would play football or basketball, something more intense and aggressive. But I doubt that black tennis players lack tactical thinking and have a temper because to play the sport of tennis is to be a classy person in the first place. I mean, I 'm not talking I grew up with a fucking country club and $40 pleated skirts, but you know, I think anyone who goes into tennis has composure. I mean I know what you are thinking by 'typical black kid,' but I just think they have their eyes on different sports. I just don't think all black people are like the "angry black guy" on the Real World.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
y_s said:
Depends on sport.

In tennis - whites have a natural advantage, because the sport requires some things for which typical black kids ( due to many reasons ) are not always accustomed from their typical childhood games - namely - tactical thinking, keeping their temper under control and staying cool under pressure, etc. But if a black athlete manages to learn the "white"s approach to the sport, like Williams did, that makes for an awesome combination.

:drool: :drool: :drool: Based on this Marat Safin is obviously a black man in a white body!.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,530 Posts
Doesn't this mean that we can conclude Japanese people are smarter than white Americans, who are in turn smarter than black Americans?
Do you think of any other way for this to be interpreted?

Of course not - it's not that simple. There are many factors that effect IQ - culture differences, educational differences, and economical differences all play a rather complex role.
Of course yes - it is that simple. And everything else that you said is perfectly right. If among some class of population or race or nation there is little attention paid to education or there is high level consumption of drugs or tobacco or alcohol, which affects brain (like it is in my Russia), or when because of the culture kids are being grown up teached that partying and playing is good, and working hard and studying is boring and not good, than you will have that class or race or nation being averagely not as smart as other nation and ultimately, not as wealthy, and that has nothing to do with racism. Because their newborn kids will still be as smart as newborn kids from any other nation, class or race.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,752 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
y_s said:
Depends on sport.

In tennis - whites have a natural advantage, because the sport requires some things for which typical black kids ( due to many reasons ) are not always accustomed from their typical childhood games - namely - tactical thinking, keeping their temper under control and staying cool under pressure, etc.
As Mrs. Guga, I do want to touch on what a "typical black kid" is.
Do you think you are generalizing just a bit?
I mean, you find a "typical black kid" in New Jersey and Los Angeles. In Oklahoma City and in the stick of the South. You may find the typical black kid is a grade A student or a cut-up who sits in the back of the class. He may grow up to be Martin Luther King, Jr. or go to jail. He may love the limelight and talk all of the time like Serena, or be quieter and settle for fame out of the spotlight like Venus.

Not all black kids are angry and lack "tactical thinking". Where are you getting this stuff, I want to know?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,752 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
y_s said:
Depends on sport.






It has nothing to do with racism. Blacks are better in basketball. Whites are better in tennis. Blacks are better in track and field. Whites, Indians and Chinese are better in engineering. It's not racism, it is statistics.




Well, do you see maybe any other reasons for this? Economics, maybe? Or social history? I challenge you to dig deeper.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28,276 Posts
ys - If you feel that IQ tests alone are a reflection of intelligence, with no factors of significance that could possibley effect the outcome - then yes, you can conclude that.

Otherwise the conclusion is folly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,530 Posts
Well, do you see maybe any other reasons for this?
What reasons? If you are asking for other reasons, you are implying that I already have specified some reasons. I haven't. And I can't really say anything more than I said in my previous post..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,530 Posts
ys - If you feel that IQ tests alone are a reflection of intelligence, with no factors of significance that could possibley effect the outcome - then yes, you can conclude that.
Design other tests. Run them. To compare we have to measure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,591 Posts
I think y_s means "stereotypical black kid." Will that work?! Okay, I have to pee soooo bad. What am I still doing here
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,752 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
y_s said:
What reasons? If you are asking for other reasons, you are implying that I already have specified some reasons. I haven't. And I can't really say anything more than I said in my previous post..
Reasons other than it being some inherited genetic gene...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,752 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
y_s said:
Design other tests. Run them. To compare we have to measure.
Some times you have class indicators in tests that automatically tilt towards a certain group.

I always think of the word "yacht" (a type of boat) which used to be placed on SAT exams. Now if you never grew up around boats, and if you knew what a "boat" was in text, but not a "yacht" how could you answer a question (such as a comparison question) correctly with the word "yacht"?

Of course, if you grew up around yachts or at least lived a lifestyle where "yachts" would be thrown around in conversation--this question would be a no-brainer.

Also, I wonder if blacks were so below average in their thinking, how did people like Colin Powell and Condeleeza Rice sneak up into the White House as Secretery of State and National Security Advisor? Heaven help us all!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28,276 Posts
As Tennis Fool provided an example for with SATs - it's very hard to design an IQ test that does not carry a certain amount of cultural bias.

Even things that are considered to be culturally unbiased have their flaws.

For example, in Raven Progressive Matrices Test the individual is shown a series of matrices that are missing a piece and is asked to complete each of them by selecting the piece that would complete it.

If one has not had the opportunity to develop the skills that are required to do well on this particular test, then they won't perform well on it. This doesn't necesarily mean that they are any less intelligent. Perhaps they merely haven't had the opportunity to tap into their potential.

One can creat a series of tests to measure the exact same thing and use this to draw their conclusions.

But their conclusions are still folly if the tests all express the same biases.
 

·
Gugaholic
Joined
·
84,779 Posts
Rebecca said:
As Tennis Fool provided an example for with SATs - it's very hard to design an IQ test that does not carry a certain amount of cultural bias.

Even things that are considered to be culturally unbiased have their flaws.

For example, in Raven Progressive Matrices Test the individual is shown a series of matrices that are missing a piece and is asked to complete each of them by selecting the piece that would complete it.

If one has not had the opportunity to develop the skills that are required to do well on this particular test, then they won't perform well on it. This doesn't necesarily mean that they are any less intelligent. Perhaps they merely haven't had the opportunity to tap into their potential.

One can creat a series of tests to measure the exact same thing and use this to draw their conclusions.

But their conclusions are still folly if the tests all express the same biases.
I totally agree with you, Becca! lol I'm breaking my rule here becca

When I came out of college many years ago, lots of company loved to use aptitude test to select their new hires. It ended up a very big company hired a bunch of laughing stocks from my class. That bunch of laughing stocks (one of the girl is sort of pretty and has all her assignment done by her boyfriend :rolleyes: ) score high in the test because they have practiced many times with that kind of tests.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,530 Posts
I always think of the word "yacht" (a type of boat) which used to be placed on SAT exams. Now if you never grew up around boats, and if you knew what a "boat" was in text, but not a "yacht" how could you answer a question (such as a comparison question) correctly with the word "yacht"?
I haven't grew up anywhere around anything like "yacht". It will not be easy for you to find anything like that in Moscow. But I knew what it is since I was 7. I grew up in a culture where I've been reading around averagely 100 books of averagely 300 pages long per year, all kind of books, but mostly high quality books about science as well as entertainment books with extremely high percentage of learning content in science and history(such as Jules Verne of France, or Main Reed of USA, or Jack London, Alexander Dumas, a lot of Russian/Soviet writers and many many more ). That's what was considered right in our society, in our childhood. And when I come to a local grocery shop in USA, and the kid at the counter doesn't recognise dill or parsley or eggplants or beet, or doesn't understand me when I ask him where can I find chutney, I make my conclusion. These kids don't read, don't learn, play their stupid games, and therefore they are not intelligent and not-educated. There is no excuse ( such as cultural differences ) for not wanting to learn the world. If you don't want it, deserve to score bad in tests, you deserve to fail.
 
1 - 20 of 244 Posts
Top