By BASN Wire Services ATLANTA — The sneaker industry has gone...
Black History Month 2012 PT 2
Gary Norris Gray BASN Staff ReporterOAKLAND, CA. (BASN)—The doors opened wide for females in the golfing world, Sae Ri Pak ( South Korea), young fenom, Michelle Wie ( Hawaii), and Korean American veteran, Grace Park. These are examples of this new wave of golfing queens.
In tennis Serena and Venus Williams have captured the Wimbledon doubles title three years in a row. Venus and Serena took three Wimbledon singles titles each in the past twelve years. No pair of African American sisters win consistently like these two. This has not been dominance in Tennis since Althea Gibson in the 1940′s.
Venus Williams is currently dealing with health problems that are very painful experence She is still trying to make a comeback on the court.
Her sister Serena understands the game and is fundamentally sound in every aspect of the game. Serena has a very good ground stroke and volley. The Williams sisters continue to make tennis history and always present a challenge to other players. They will be playing for the United States on the 2012 American Federation Cup Team this spring.
Note the highest American on the top 100 list other then the Williams sisters would be Christina McHale at number 38. Asian American,Vania King stands at number 58 on the list
Our Asian sisters in the Chinese Tennis Federation produced many stars like Na Li, Zheng Jie, and Shuai Peng. These new superstars are by-passing the American team.
Lastly the sport of ice hockey. Forty years ago you could not find black hockey players. Black players were placed in the position of goalie or defenseman because coaches claimed they did not skate fast enough to play other positions. Now they are coming into the league and playing in any positions.
African Americans and Black Canadians are filling spots on many National Hockey League team rosters. A Black Canadian, Jerome Iginla, of the Calgary Flames, became rookie of the year in the National Hockey League in 1997. Iginla won the (MVP) Most Valuable Player Award. Iginla won the Most Goals in a Season title in 2004. He will be the first black non-goalie to ever win a title. Iginla won the Art Ross Trophy in 2004. He will follow in the footsteps of Willie O’Ree, the first African American to play for the Boston Bruins and Goalie Grant Fuhr from the Edmonton Oilers and the first Black Canadian to win the Stanley Cup. Fuhr loved it so much he did it four more times.
Progress! there are 27 black hockey players in 2011. The New Jersey Devils have two Black defensemen, The Winnipeg Jets/Atlanta Thrashers have four Black players; two have Stanley Cup Champion experience, Johnny Oduya from the New Jersey Devils and Dustin Byfulien from the Chicago Blackhawks. These young men are now leading the new Winnipeg Jets.
Hockey has become a stronger, faster game and the league will be diverse because of players like Ray Emery and Jamal Myers (Chicago Blackhawks), Wayne Simmonds (Phila. Flyers), Evander Kane ( Winnipeg Jets), Kyle Okposo (N.Y. Islanders), Bryce Salvador (N.J.Devils), Trevor Daly ( Dallas Stars), P.K. Subban and Nigal Dawes ( Mont. Canadiens) Anthony Stewart ( Carolina Hurricanes), Joel Ward ( Wash. Capitols) Chris Stewart ( St. Louis Blues)
Salute to our Asian brothers, Richard Park (Pitts. Penguins) from Korea, Jon Matsumoto (Carolina Hurricanes), Devin Setoguchi (Minn. Wild) and Raymond Sawada (Dallas Stars) of Japanese descent, Jordin Tootoo (Nashville Predators) First Nation/Native Indian, and Manny Malhotra(Vancouver Canucks)- New Delhi-Indian
Cannot forget our Latino Brothers, Scott Gomez(Mont. Canadiens), Al Montoya(N.Y. Islanders), and Raffi Torres(Phx. Coyotes)
These fine athletes encourage many young Asian, Latin, African American, Black Canadian, and First Nation/Native Indian men and woman to pursue other sport.
Participation in Baseball, basketball, and football are not the only doors for these gifted athletes. The future is bright but there is still one glaring issue that the professional sports world needs to address: African American ownership of professional teams. This is the last hurdle African Americans and other minorities must conquer.
Here are a few examples,
The Williams Sister are part owners of the Miami Dolphins and the third family of women to own a team. Latino Brothers and Sisters the Estefan’s, Marc Anthony, and Jennifer Lopez own part of the fish ( Miami). In late 2010 Warrick Dunn (African American) became part owner of the Atlanta Falcons.
Baseball has only one minority owned team. the Japanese businessman Hiroshi Yamaguchi bought the Seattle Mariners
Basketball Our Latino brother Mark Cuban (Dallas Mavericks) controls the everyday administrative decision in Dallas. South Korean Patrick Soon-Shiong is part owner of the (Los Ang. Lakers). Magic Johnson once owned part of the Purple and Gold Lakers. Michael Jordan is the majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats
Minority ownership of professional teams include two football teams, three basketball teams, and one baseball team. A grand total of seven owners that is less than two percent on a professional level. This has to change before progress can begin on a level plain.
There are 30 baseball teams, 32 football teams, 30 basketball teams, and 30 hockey teams for a total of 122 professional teams from the big four professional sports industries.
Looking at Black History Month 2012 African Americans still have a lot of work to do.
Â©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod