September 27, 2002

Baseball. Hoops. Golf. They're everywhere. : "The fastest man in Major League Baseball is Asian. The most eagerly anticipated NBA rookie in years? Asian. The world's greatest golfer, the quickest pro hockey player, the most precocious relief ace? Asian, Asian, Asian."

posted by kirkaracha to general at 09:28 PM - 2 comments

Nice article... I've always disliked the "domination of the black athlete" meme both because I felt- like the writer did- that "black" is a difficult to pinpoint concept anyway (was Babe Ruth black? Blacker than Derek Jeter? How about dark-skinned hispanics- are they black?), and that often "dominance of the black athlete" was a subtly veiled way of suggesting the "superiority of the Cacausian mind". In other words, much as we assume a successful actor can't also be a good musician, or a pro athlete must be dumb as dirt, the idea of the black male as a "superb physical specimen"- or the myth of the overly endowed black man- subtly implies there must be a compensating lack of something- such as intelligence. To a culture well-conditioned on "superiority of the black athlete" gibberish, this article probably seems like a silly exercise in contrarian thought; yet realistically, he's no less accurate than writers that would propose the innate superiority of the "" athlete. As he notes, you can "see racial dominance in sports where [you] look for it."

posted by hincandenza at 11:12 PM on September 27, 2002

Hal, you said it better than I was about to, so I agree with you, but am going to pick nits about his Tiger Woods comments. The world's greatest golfer, hailed as the most dominant athlete in any sport, is Tiger Woods, who has more Asian ancestry than he does anything else. True, Tiger has more Asian ancestry than anything else; His mother's side is Thai and Chinese, while his famous father, Earl, is CAucasian, BLack and INdian (the CA, BL and IN of "Cablanasian", the term Tiger says he coined while his first name was Eldrick, in his teens). But I say this: Tiger is not Asian...or Black...he is American. Unlike Yao Ming, Woods did not grow up under communism. Unlike Ichiro , Tiger did not have to 'retire' from Japanese baseball to go on the free market. Tiger isn't a Korean pitcher who gave up to home runs to the Yankees in the World Series. Could he have set the lofty goals in another country? Could he have used his talent to achieve financially what he has in another country? No. Tiger, like anyone from his generation that wants to, should be called American. He has achieved because he is an American.

posted by msacheson at 04:27 AM on September 28, 2002

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