This week, the Air Force football coach had some things to say about race and sports, for which he was reprimanded. Later, the venerable Joe Paterno, said something similar, for which the ire of (predominantly white) sportswriters is sure to ensue. Which leads me to something I've wondered for a long time. Why can't we talk about this?
Just a little casual empricism tells us that something is going on here. It would seem to an observer that the best American athletes tend to be black. Where is the white equivalent of LeBron, KG or AI, not just in terms of basketball skill but in terms of pure athleticism? Similar, why are the 'skill' positions in football, which seem to be ruled more by athletic talent then learned ability (from the standpoint of one who has never played organized football, so what the hell do I know?) dominated by african-americans? I'm not arguing that 'blacks are better athletes', merely wondering if my observations match objective reality. And, if so, why?
Well, we're unlikely to ever know because as soon as the topic get broached, the speaker has touched a thrid rail, and is instantly crushed by the PC police. I'm not talking about Al Campanis, saying that 'blacks lack certain essentials.' I'm talking about studying if there is, at some general level, a physical difference between people of varying ethnicities. Is it genetic? Certainly possible. It's also possible that demographics play a large role - in America, blacks tend to be poorer, and poorer areas tend to produce 'better' athletes for various sociological reasons. I don't have the answer, but I want to be able to ask the question without being called racist. Its an interesting topic, and unless you have Charles Barkley-level carte blanche, you just can't talk about it.