Black Athletes in Society

2265 Words10 Pages
Introduction
In the collegiate world of sports, basketball has become an increasingly recognized sport among African Americans, predominantly males. The hope of any young basketball player is that one day a scout will come and recruit them into stardom The question that presents itself as a problem to the lucky few who are chosen to go professional, is whether or not an education is more important than a million dollar shoe deal, “The NCAA's (1998) annual six-year study reported that only 33% of Black male basketball players graduated, (Chronicle of Higher Education, 1999). Individually, basketball reported the lowest graduation rate in all divisions,” (Robinson, 2004:1). Basketball players have become so idolized in the eyes of young Black male basketball athletes, that the value of education appear to be less important in the development of these young men, “According to Sailes (1997), there is an over-representation of Black males in particular sports and an under-representation in other segments of American society. He provides the example of percentages of Black males competing in the NBA (77%), NFL (65%), MLB (15%), and MLS (16%) in comparison to the fact that fewer than 2% of doctors, lawyers, architects, college professors, or business executives are Black males.”, (Robinson, 2004:1). The idea of the attainment of a professional basketball player’s salary in the NBA, without even having to go to school for the time it takes to earn a degree is very appealing to some players. Those with a wealthy, or even upper-middle class upbringing may not view material assets as a priority. In the Black community, we have theorized that money and success play a more important role than education in most households. Although these two seem to go together, one resulting from the other, this does not apply in the sports world. Our research will examine the role that the family value system plays in influencing Black vs. White male athletes to turn professional, as opposed to obtaining a college degree before turning professional.
The role of the family value system encouraging Black male athletes to graduate from college appears to be less influential than that of White male athletes. The attainment of a professional basketball contract is more important because the value system in African American families appears to be focused more on immediate gratification. So r...

... middle of paper ...

...r
Education Statistics. No date of posting/revision given. 20 Apr. 2004

This website provides the information on the graduation rates of all races. It also gives one important factor when studying the Black community’s graduation rates, “Black may be 12% of population, but only 3% of PHD, 6.7% of Bachelors
Degrees,” and therefore encouraging the idea that the Black community does not support education as one of its main priorities.

Robinson, Mark D. Ph. D. “Every Black Kid Should Strive to Be a Professional Athlete”.
Black Athlete Sports Network. 10 May 2004

This article proposes the idea of what would happen if Black people really embraced the sports world and made that their priority instead of education, “He provides the example of percentages of Black males competing in the NBA (77%), NFL (65%), MLB (15%), and MLS (16%) in comparison to the fact that fewer than 2% of doctors, lawyers, architects, college professors, or business executives are Black males,”. Dr. Robinson brings up the sta…..

More about Black Athletes in Society

Open Document