Wall Street Jounal ‘Discovers’ Black Swimmer Cullen Jones

Updated: June 29, 2008


When we find an impressive

article about a Black Athlete

in the White Media we know

it will be an easy Box we’ll

write that night heavily

quoting the Source

So it is this Sunday night for Monday’s Box. No burning the Midnight Oil. Left slumping over our computers too tired to move. If ONLY there were more worthwhile articles like the one The Wall Street Journal printed Friday, June 27, 2008, about Swimmer Cullen Jones.

BASN and the Box have given Jones good coverage in our pages since he first emerged but it’s extra nice when the White Media joins in the Praise as the Journal just did. So rather than trying to tell their story for them we will provide Journal reporter Matthew Futterman the honor of having his words highlighted in the Black Sports Media. That’s us.

So here we GO

selected excerpts from

Futterman’s WSJ article

” Cullen Jones Makes Waves ”

” When Mr. Jones competes for the 50- and 100-meter freestyle races, he feels as if he will be swimming for millions of black children in the U.S. whose health and welfare are at stake. Mr. Jones, 24 years old, is a key figure in the effort to combat a long standing problem: the high drowning rate among black children, which is more than three times the rate of white children.”

” No black swimmer has dedicated himself to this issue more than Mr. Jones, who last year was hailed the second fastest swimmer in the world when he took silver in the 50-meter freestyle race at the world championships. Now, after an up-and-down winter, he must go up against proven Olympic veterans in races where only the top two winners get to go to Beijing.”

” If he gets to Beijing and excels there, Mr. Jones will provide the African-American community with a champion swimmer it can hold up as a symbol of the absurdity of old biases about blacks and swimming ….. The outdated stereotype remains powerful. Mr. Jones said members of his own family still ask him why he chose the sport. “They’ll say, ‘Don’t you know blacks don’t swim?’” Mr. Jones says.”

” Mr. Jones, born in the Bronx, N.Y., and raised in Irvington, N.J., is perfectly suited to become a transitional figure. Long before he became a champion, taking a gold medal in the 100-meter freestyle relay at last year’s world championships, Mr. Jones almost became a statistic.”

” Mr. Jones tells his story to anyone who will listen, arguing that swimming should be as important a part of childhood as running. The story and his decision to make swimming safety a top priority have attracted a series of sponsorship deals from a corporate sports machine that loves to seize on an athlete whose efforts are about something bigger than the fastest finish.”

That is the Story part of it

as told in The Wall Street

Journal NOW it’s on to

the Olympic TRIALS

for Cullen Jones we

hope GOLD is in his

Future and it inspires

lots of Black kids

into the Water to

SWIM for safety

and Olympic Glory

like Cullen Jones does

Cullen Jones ” I DID IT SO CAN YOU ”