February 02, 2008

White men can't jump: 10 myths about race and sports.: A quiz from the American Anthropological Association.

posted by rumple to culture at 02:54 PM - 2 comments

I'm surprised no one's posted a comment yet, this was kind of interesting. For starters, while I expected a straight "false" for the 10 questions in some weak propaganda piece, it actually wasn't quite that. While the most obviously racist prejudices were false, there was some truth- albeit minimally, and with a grain of salt- to the notion of certain geographic regions having built-in advantages. Still, it always for me comes back to that same notion we've kicked around here at Sportsfilter in other posts that much of athletic success is really just hard work: there's some genetic advantage when you're at the top of your field, but otherwise, it's the old "If you spend 10 years doing anything, and practicing what you're NOT good at as well as the muscular fundamentals, you'll be great at it" notion. There was a post here in the last couple of months about a famous Russian tennis academy; it seemed to support this notion, that any real differences are likely cultural alone. Cultures that put a premium on certain sports or activities (such as the Kenyan runners, or the dominance, amazingly, of snowy northern countries in the Winter Olympics) produce disproportionate numbers of athletes in those sports. As an aside, some of the quotes they used were amazingly racist and sadly, amazingly recent in some cases.

posted by hincandenza at 10:20 PM on February 02, 2008

Some good stuff here, thanks for the post.

posted by aerotive at 04:36 PM on February 03, 2008

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