We Need Diversity

College Football3

It’s not at all uncommon to watch a college basketball game and see that 90 to 100 percent of the players are black. According to the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport report titled “The 2008 Racial and Gender Report Card,” the percentage of black male basketball players in Division I was an all-time high at 60.4 percent. It was 45.9 percent in football and 6.0 percent in baseball.

Diversity is worse in professional sports. In the National Basketball Association, almost 82 percent of the players are people of color, higher than last year’s 80 percent. This is the highest percentage of players of color since the 1994-1995 season. The percentage of black players increased to 77 percent from last year’s 76 percent mark. The percentage of Latinos remained constant at 3 percent. Football diversity is not much better. During the 2008 NFL season, the percentage of white players remained constant at 31 percent while the percentage of black players increased slightly from 66 to 67 percent. Casual observation shows that most sports lack sex diversity. Segregation by sex is the rule rather than the exception.

One can understand the absence of concern for diversity in professional sports; they are in it just for the money. But one is left flummoxed by the lack of sports diversity in college sports. After all, you can’t listen to any college president or provost speak for more than five minutes before the word “diversity” drops from his lips. Colleges take diversity seriously and they spend tens of millions of dollars on it. Juilliard School has a director of diversity and inclusion; MIT has a manager of diversity recruitment; Toledo University, an associate dean for diversity; Harvard, Texas A&M, California at Berkeley, Virginia and many others boast of officers, deans, vice presidents and perhaps ministers of diversity. But, in what appears to be the height of deviousness and deceit, these diversity-driven administrators allow sports, the most visible part of the college, be the least diverse and least inclusive.

Let’s look at George Mason University, where I’ve taught in its distinguished Economics Department for 29 years.

According to university race/ethnic statistics, its campus consists of: 7 percent blacks, 7 percent Hispanics, 12 percent Asians, 43 percent white and miscellaneous others. If there were true basketball diversity, we would see at least two white players, and one each Asian, Hispanic and black on the starting five. I don’t watch GMU basketball, and have no idea of whether our starting five looks like America, but I’d bet the rent money that our Office of Equity and Diversity has failed at producing basketball diversity.

You say, “Williams, the reason blacks dominate basketball and football is that they are better than whites.” Careful! That’s an attitude that could win you a charge of racism. It differs little from suggesting that the reason why not many blacks are nuclear physicists is because they are not as good as whites. It should be remembered that diversity creed holds that we are all equal and would be proportionately represented by race across all activities but for the fact of discrimination and oppression.

Basketball, football and nuclear physics aren’t the only areas of our lives sorely lacking diversity and proportional representation. American men are struck by lightning six times as often as American women. Men are about 54 percent of the labor force but suffer more than 90 percent of job-related deaths. Cervical cancer rates are five times higher among Vietnamese women in the U.S. than among white women. Pima Indians of Arizona have the highest diabetes rates in the world. Prostate cancer is nearly twice as common among black men as white men. Half of all Mexican wives are married in their teens while only 10 percent of Japanese wives are married that early.

These and many other statistics about racial differences suggests that there will be full employment for people in the diversity business for decades to come.

  • davarino

    Walter Williams is so racist : )

  • Victor

    For every person aided by Affirmative Action, there is a victim who was discriminated against. It is and always has been wrong, but no one raises a voice when the NBA players and their mega salaries are 82% Black.

  • USMCSniper

    Life is unfair so get used to it. And sports is unfair as well, starting at the high school level where kids are deliberately held back and resulting in 18 -21 year olds playing high school basketball and football.

  • Stuart (Austin, TX)

    Where the jews in NCAA basketball??? NCAA football??? It's so anti-semitic.

  • Otis

    Diversity doesn't care if the under-groups are over-represented in good categories. Diversity doesn't "go both ways".

    Diversity, by the definition of the controlling Left, only applies when the historically discriminated-against and oppressed groups are to be promoted based on color to cause a desirable effect. This is to bring them up from past oppression and to make things fair again.

    It is not a lack of diversity when there aren't enough white guys (the controlling and oppressing race) in the basketball game because the black guys perform better than the white ones.

  • USMCSniper

    Americans especially cannot deal with truth when it comes to the issues of race and racism. The case of Jimmy The Greek is an ideal example. He said "Blacks were bred to be bigger and stronger with a greater sense of endurance." He was relieved of his position from a popular radio station, when in fact what Jimmy spoke was the truth, as Unpopular as it was. The fact still remains though that the Biggest Black slaves were only bred with the Strongest Black slaves – . They were bred like cattle for profit. However, Jimmy the Greek was ostracized and called a racist for speaking the undeniable truth.

    And that is why sports is dominated to a large extent by Blacks today. Breed whites the same way over generations and you would get a similar result.

  • John Wells

    Sports are uncompromisingly results-oriented, and outcomes are based on ability and performance rather than the race or sexual preference of the players. There are no championships for the “most diverse backcourt” or the “most multicultural starting rotation.” It is ironic that when it comes to our athletes, we want nothing but the best, but when it comes to picking the administration, faculty, and the student body at our colleges and universities — what is important is their gender, race, sexual preference, or ethnicity.

    In addition to a lack of athletic diversity, colleges and universities also lack intellectual diversity. Anything to the right of Karl Marx is a definite “no-no.”

    • donnamarie

      Provocative article. You do have to wonder whether they are deliberately not recruiting people "not of color" to play sports.

  • Lastango

    It's time for a new approach. We need to pay black football and basketball players to not play in college. Needless to say, for those with potential to compete at a professional level this will require a substantial outlay, since they are forfeiting their futures. However, we will reap additional benefits down the road because this will gradually compel the NBA and NFL to become diverse. Two decades of this policy should suffice to cause professional teams to reflect America if we begin now. Then we can start on phase two: paying tall, fast people to not play – and approach which may suffice to lay groundwork for coed teams.

  • rob

    Saying black people are better then whites at something will never get you seriously accused of racism and will never cost a coach or boss a job.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Tar_n_Feathers Tar_n_Feathers

    I've been thinking of trying out for the Oakland Raiders. They could use some help. And the fact is that pathetic unatheletic wimps are grossly underrepresented. I think I might have a shot.

  • Mark G

    We should fire all of the University Diversity Enforcers and use those funds to acutally teach students useful things so they can become productive members of society, maybe a few leaders of people. Ah, to dream.

  • Don

    We need to stop spending education money to farm for the gambling and entertainment industries.
    Let those industries educate their workers with their own dollars not ours.
    Life is unfair so get used to it?
    No, life is unfair so aspire to be a decent human being.

  • Bruce

    Black athletes tend to dominate because, on average, they have higher testosterone levels (which is also why they have more prostate cancer) and they are more heavily muscled. The result is that they are stronger and faster than whites. As a white guy who can't jump I have no problem with any of this because excellence in any endeavor is a joy to behold. The problem is that young black athletes are exploited to their disadvantage. Most are getting inferior educations in k-12 and but are recruited by colleges for their athletic prowess. Most, I suspect, are 'affirmative-actioned' through college and 'graduated' but still poorly educated.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/johncarens johncarens

      Oh, my gosh, are they gonna pounce on you!
      Actually, I've often thought that Division I schools ought to have an undergraduate degree in "Professional Athletics", so that these very gifted kids can leave school with skills they will need throughout their lives. The degree could include courses on Contract Law, marketing, physical therapy, long-term financial planning and media relations.

      And further: I am surprised that someone hasn't started a University to specialize in Sports and Entertainment.

  • Bruce

    The left knows all the above but pretends not to see because it raises two no-no's: One is that the race-based superiority of black athletes raises the corollary question of possible race-based academic inferiority. The left won't go near that issue nor will the leftist teacher's unions permit motivated black families access to better schools through a voucher system or charter schools. There is an abundance of evidence that blacks can excel in academics given a good school and a motivated, supportive family. So, once again, the hypocritical left allows ideology to trump common sense. And everyone suffers needlessly as a result.

  • Tom 11

    It's simple. Sports competetion has a defined, enforced and agreed to set of rules under which superior performance results in victory, which in itself is rewarded handsomely. The requirement for success is clear – victory and superior performance. The penalty for failure is also clear – you get cut, you sit the bench, your contract is not renewed. The responsibility for the execution of the results is given to a very few – the coach, the GM, the owner. In just about every other human endeavor, the requirements for success, the standards of failure, and the responsibility for implementing decisions based on the performance are blurred and fuzzy, and especially in the publicly funded endeavors, the rules and results are subject to all kinds of non-performance related goals imposed by do-gooders and crafters of social well-being, including quotas, diversity goals, and theoretical constructs that may or may not be actually good for society.

    The solution is clear, if unattainable. Either remove the concept of victory from sports, or allow social constructs (schools, businesses, governments) to opt into success rather than intellectual constructs as the goal. Period.

    • Don

      remove the analogy that a professional athlete is the model of a functioning human being.
      a possible replacement could be a person who can read, write, count, maybe even type, speak intelligible English and know the basic rules of common decency and social conduct. Too ambitious?
      consider that competitiveness is nor more a worthy character trait that sloth or envy or lust.

  • Avidyananda

    How about Obama showing how brave and how progressive he is by starting an Affirmative Action Policy for the NBA? Get some of those low achieving white boys out on the court.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/johncarens johncarens

    Hushhh… C'mon, Williams. You aren't supposed to say this stuff out loud!

    Also: It has bugged the juice out of me for years that those in the politically correct Diversity Stasi use the word "Diversity" when they actually mean "Variety"… Until it occurs to me that they are trying to divide people, not get them together.

  • ringmaster

    Diversity is alive and well in NYC where minority candidates will be hired to be firefighters even after not doing well enough on an 6th grade reading test. A Clinton appointed judge ordered that 2 blacks, 2 hispanics and 1 white candidate will be hired in each group of 5. Pity the poor Iraq vet who had the crime of being born non-minority and be able to read at a 6th grade level. Lucky the candidate who is lucky enough to have one minority parent. Oh well there is alwqysw the NBA

  • Joe Monteith

    I'm PIs**D Off. Where are all the over 50 retired white guys in pro sports other than golf. Lets get that fixed!!!! LOL

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