Encore Box: Black Lacrosse

Updated: April 25, 2006

originally published on April 25, 2006





Two of the greatest Lacrosse players ever

Jim Brown and Kyle Harrison and

One of the great lacrosse teams

of all time

The Ten Bears

of Morgan State

You’d never know it looking at the Duke University Lacrosse team or Lacrosse across America today in college after college. Here is Newsweek’s description of Lacrosse in its cover story in its new issue …..

“Strutting lacrosse players are a distinct and familiar breed on elite campuses along the Eastern Seaboard. Because the game was played mostly at prep schools and in upper middle class communities on New York’s Long Island, and outside Baltimore, the players tend to be at once macho and entitled. They can often be seen driving in SUVs with LAX decals …..” Masters of the Universe who have jobs waiting for them on Wall Street when they finish college as Newsweek put it. Read white players.

There are very few often no African Americans among their teammates. At Duke one Black player a lowly freshman among 46 white players. It is the very exclusive exclusionary nature of the sport that is most troubling. And beyond whatever may be the resolution of the rape case at Duke. The institutional bias characterized by Lacrosse in colleges across America creates this poisonous climate.

Jim Brown, Kyle Harrison and the legendary Ten Bears give Lie to the current reality that Lacrosse is basically a White Sport. Made that much more ironic by the fact Lacrosse originated among Native Americans.

Back to 1970. Morgan State was a Black college that had never had a Lacrosse team. Back then it was also played mostly as an elite white sport. Morgan State organized a lacrosse team and this African American team became so good in 1975 the team named the Ten Bears won the biggest upset in college lacrosse history beating # 1 ranked Washington and Lee University for the college championship.

The Great Jim Brown almost exclusively known for his football prowess is renowned as the greatest Lacrosse player ever by many. And the sport Brown himself claims he was best at. Lacrosse not football at Syracuse University in the 1950s in which Brown lettered in 5 different sports. Jim Brown the only human ever inducted into the pro and college football Halls of Fame and the Lacrosse Hall of Fame.

Which brings us to Kyle Harrison

member of the 2006 USA National Team

the only African American of 23 players

Kyle a widely acclaimed college Lacrosse player at John Hopkins University led John Hopkins to its very first national championship in 18 years as a senior in 2005, honored as the best Midfielder in the country in 2004 and 2005. In 4 years at John Hopkins he scored a shattering 81 goals while recording 45 assists.

Drafted # 1 in the first round of the Major League Lacrosse draft of 2005 by the New Jersey Pride, Harrison became only the second rookie in League history to be named to an MLL All Star Game. Kyle is also distinguished being the son of Dr. Myles Harrison member of the legendary Morgan State team of 1975.

With these Pioneers leading the Way

why hasn’t there been

more progress

Where do we go from here ?

It is time to get serious and innovative about developing Lacrosse in African American communities and among young Black boys and girls. To make use of the Duke outrage as the positive Battle Cry to stop allowing White America’s leading universities most of all to Apartheid sports in America. It is beyond a doubt as we have evidenced again and again in the Box that few sports played in America are really open to African Americans in a reasonable way. That it takes an especially talented determined athlete with a strong support network like Kyle Harrison to break through into “other” sports.

Lacrosse should become the Rallying Cry

for Changer in American sports

and beyond Sports.

Do not doubt for a moment that with out the proper tools and incentive African Americans would be every bit as competitive in Lacrosse as in Basketball and Football. Every bit as Competitive. And every one of us should be incensed that most sports are allowed to become training grounds for elitism and the recruiting fields for lush jobs on Wall Street and elsewhere for privileged white student athletes as Newsweek describes. Leaving African Americans behind.

Time to get serious

about Lacrosse in African America

coast to coast

sand lot high school college pro

Black Lacrosse

the best response to

Duke 2006

Whenever you want to reach us with comments or better yet an idea for a topic for the Box …….