The Myth of the Rich Black Athlete

As Henry Louis Gates states in his article, “Why Are There So Many Black Athletes?”, : “When I was growing up in the 1950s, we were taught that we had a much better chance of becoming a doctor or a lawyer, a dentist or a teacher or a preacher than a professional athlete….But even though we all admired and cheered on those pioneers in sport, few of us thought of these as viable career options for the African American.”

The truth is that there are more black doctors than pro football players. Based U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 7,500 Black doctores, while there are only 1700 professional football players.  The logical mind would direct their child to a occupation with which the child would have more control over their own success. This is especially noteworthy with the surge in anti-black athlete rhetoric that has bubbled up due to Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling during the national anthem to protesting injustice and police brutality.

Black Americans may want to reconsider the career goals of their children. There is more success to be had via academics than through sports.


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