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Racism & Sports: You May Be Surprised

A recent study of college athletic departments determined that whites hold an “overwhelming majority” of leadership positions. Here are some of the findings of the study:

  • 81.5% (97/119) of division I-A football schools have white presidents, 3.4% (4/119) are black

  • 88.0% (212/241) of offensive and defensive coordinators at division I-A football schools are white, 10.0% (24/241) are black

  • 89.1% (106/119) of athletic directors at division I-A football schools are white; 8.4% (10/119) are black

  • 86.6% (415/479) of all the previous types of leaders are white, 7.9% (38/479) are black

According to the CIA Factbook, the following is the breakdown of American ethnic groups, as estimated in 2003:

  • 81.7% White

  • 12.9% Black

  • 4.2% Asian

  • 1.2% Other

The study’s findings are correct. Whites do hold an overwhelming majority of leadership positions. However, these numbers have to be put in context because whites also make up an overwhelming majority of America. Though I believe there is still racism present, it is not nearly as horrible as many make it out to be. As the numbers show, about 5% of all the leadership positions in the study held by whites (which comes to nearly 24 positions) should be held by blacks for the ethnic diversity to mirror the ethnic breakdown in America exactly.

Do not be mistaken, racism is still a problem in America. However, also understand how far the country has come and how close the statistics are to where they should be. The United States has progressed, as this study of college athletic departments shows.