Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Does Race Still Matter In Sports?

When it comes to sports, I'd rather play than watch.
Except for the Little League World Series.
The LLWS is sportsmanship at it's purist and best.
The LLWS exhibits the work ethic, emotion, poise and class to which professional athletes can only aspire.
The LLWS is ... fun.

This year's American finals had four of the five teams I had my eye on during the regional qualifiers. (Lake Charles, Louisiana was eliminated earlier in the tournament.)
Philly had a girl pitching, Nevada was repping the West, Pearland was from my newly adopted home state and Chicago had an all-Black team.

But in this post-racial world with Obama being the POTUS, Hip-Hop being accepted as a valid musical genre, racial slurs and/or comments no longer being acceptable speech by team owners (At least not in public - or if being recorded.), and all - why would I like a team just because they are all-Black?

I sucked at baseball.
I couldn't hit,
 and fielding was boring.
I liked the movie, "The Sandlot".
Maybe that's why I followed Chicago in this year's tournament.
Maybe these kids brought to mind the patchwork of regular kids from that movie who squared off against the more affluent kids and won.
Maybe I like people and teams who succeed where they are not expected to. (Think; Jeremy Lin)
Maybe I like the underdog.
In all honesty, maybe I like the all=Black team because I am Black.



BigmacInPittsburgh said...

I too enjoyed the series this year,but heard an interesting ideal while ESPN and the Little League Association are raking in millions of dollars,why not create monetary rewards for the players,I felt like these kids are being pimped!

Constructive Feedback said...

My Dear Friend UBJ:

Had you substituted "Nationality" for "Race" would it have made a difference?

South Korea won the championship series.
Had Mo'ne Davis from the Dragons been a "Hispanic female" or some of the stars from "Jackie Robinson" been dispersed on an integrated team from the United States and they did battle with South Korea, China, Cuba and Germany - would the euphoria over this American talent on the world stage been any different?

The US Olympic team has this diversity - only a few years separate them from these little league players. Beyond the pride in seeing a "Black female gymnast" (Gabby Douglass) take the top prize as "The First Black Female......" did you see any racial stratification in America's support for its own athletic heroes?