A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
BASN Classic BlackBox: No Black Caddie Anywhere
Last Updated: June 06, 2007 NO BLACK CADDIES ANYWHERE ( EXCEPT THE PAST )
Bill Rhoden calls it
The Jockey Syndrome
in his new Book
It applies to all Sports but Rhoden originates the term with Black Jockeys in his classic in the making ” 40 Million Dollar Slaves.” He could just as well have called it The Caddie Syndrome. To the same effect.
The Jockey Syndrome
Can be defined as the process in any Sport in which it has taken place in which African Americans having become prominent in an aspect of a Sport – in most cases because Whites were uninterested – are then largely if not completely driven out of that role in any Sport as White attitudes change and they now covet roles they previously disdained.
Rhoden uses Jockeys
as his defining Example
Because riding horses in competition from its first development here in Colonial America until the beginning of the 20th century was considered a “laborer’s function” beneath the Dignity (sic) of most Whites. If not necessarily all.
There is a huge difference between the status of Jockeys today and back in the 19th century and the cusp of that change took place at the start of the last century when Horse Racing began to develop as a serious business as well as attracting a far wider audience all over the country.
At that Point
The value of the Jockey began to change substantially. Both for the Jockeys themselves as well as for trainers and owners who put renewed emphasize on their Jockeys. The collective result was that White Americans then became eager to be Jockeys with increased status and income.
At that Point
who had dominated the Sport as Jockeys.
Who were often preferred by White Owners for their ability with horses, began to quickly be replaced by White Riders and very soon there were no Black Jockeys anywhere except at the few African American race tracks.
Has been exactly the same in Golf ( and in most Sports ) but of far more recent vintage. It is only in the 1970s and later that African American Caddies have disappeared from the Sport most prominently and significantly on the PGA Tour but at more and more private gold clubs just as well.
What in the past was clearly classified a “servant or laborer” function despite their enviable knowledge of golf and the courses they caddied – as Golf has developed a cache beyond its earlier days ……
,,,,,,,, more to the Point as it has become a BIG Money Sport, and to that Point a BROADCAST Sport, being a Caddie has become far more lucrative and a mark of Status especially for those who Caddie on the ever more popular PGA Tour.
As many others have noted
There has been a definite relationship between Blacks being replaced by Whites as Caddies and the complete lack of African American PGA Tour Players other than Tiger Woods ( don’t tell him we referred to him as African American ).
Being a Caddie was one realistic way for younger African Americans to learn the Sport and have access to first rate golf courses. Often at golf clubs where African American membership was not “encouraged.” If not impossible.
We also have to deal with
a certain amount of BS
( don’t we always )
Some Whites would claim the “unfortunate” reason White players especially Tour players hesitate to employ Black Caddies is the fact they will be criticized for having a Black “servant” carrying their clubs around the course. What a Crock that is. As noted White Boys would kill to Caddie for ANY PGA Tour player let alone the Top Tier. And those Caddies you see week after week …..
again this weekend at the Buick Open
Look at all those Happy White Campers lugging around those heavy golf bags in the Baking Heat with Big Big Smiles on their Sweaty Faces. Those Caddies think the died and have gone to Heaven. And very few of theses guys are making less than $ 100,000 a year themselves living the Life of Riley and those Caddying for the Top Players a whole lot more than that. There are Millionaire Caddies.
Ask Tiger’s Caddie
which brings us to another Point
may you live to be 1000
but it doesn’t matter
you will NEVER
see Tiger Woods
with a Black Caddie
if you don’t know
think real hard
call it the Tiger Syndrome
being Too Black is Bad
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A WORLD THAT IS GONE