The Old Coach Sez

A TOUCHY SUBJECT

It seems rather ridiculous to me that any discussion of racial differences is simply not politically correct. I watch the American Olympic basketball team, and am made aware of the fact that by and large, white men simply are not as quick and do not have the skills that their Afro-American counterparts do. And there are a lot of other areas in sports in which white athletes are outshone by black athletes, like running the 100 or 200 meter sprints or the hurdles. Our country is so well represented by these athletes. Let's face it, they are our best in these events.

You don't have to watch very much professional football to realize that there are more black players than there are whites. This is particularly true at the skill positions.

It took us Americans a long time to realize this. I have to think that Jesse Owens, who won four events running in front of Adolph Hitler in the 1936 Olympics, was the one that really gave our country its wake-up call.

I recently saw a photograph of the Minneapolis Laker basketball team that won the national championship 6 out of 7 years in the early '50s. Not an African American on it. Coach Murray Warmath awoke stoic Minnesotans to the fact that talented Afro-Americans could bring winning football back to the state. Players like Sandy Stephens, Bobby Bell, Judge Dickson, and Carl Eller led them to a couple of Rose Bowls. But it was not always so at our prestigious university.

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