Six Very Long Years

Updated: September 30, 2007



It’s been 6 long years

since the Black Box

first appeared here at

Black Athlete Sports Network

( 2 1/2 years after its founding )

in mid September 2001

yes right after 9/11

the first and still the ONLY

Sports Media devoted to

the Black experience

in American Sports

In this Anniversary Box the logical question to tackle is WHAT if anything has changed about the African American experience in Sports in these 6 years. We’ll give you the answer up front.

NOTHING of substance.

Sure individuals have arisen others have faded in those 6 years and others have reached their prime but most telling of all that is almost completely confined to the experience of active African American athletes. As was proven very well by yesterday’s Box and the new Business Week list of the 100 most influential individuals in Sports in America today.

Just ONE African American is having any kind of major impact OFF the field as measured by Business Week. And Gene Upshaw the ONLY African American who qualifies and leads the NFL’s players association is having virtually no impact on behalf of African Americans. If anything the opposite as he has been very very hesitant to speak up on any Black related issue such as the dearth of African Americans on the NFL OFF the Gridiron.

No doubt if you asked Gene Upshaw about it if he would respond which is unlikely he’d tell you he represents ALL the players and even though over 70% are African American that he would not “favor” them. Well Upshaw just the opposite is true. When it comes to management and coaching and broadcasting and merchandising African Americans are woefully UNDER-represented so it sure looks like you are NOT doing your job “fairly.”

But let’s not spend too much time on Gene Upshaw he is not worth that much Ink. He is a symptom not the disease. The disease remains an under-current of Racism in America that has been “gentrified” but clearly still exists.

The clear evidence is that you do NOT ever see any of the pro leagues or the NCAA or the U.S Olympic Committee or the broadcasters stand up and say we have too FEW African Americans in our organization and especially in senior positions.

NEVER. For example the NFL broadcasters CBS, NBC and FOX have virtually NO African Americans in their broadcast booths.

And nobody is doing anything about it.

There are endless examples but maybe the most despicable individual of all is the NCAA President Dr. Myles Brand who since the day he was chosen to lead the NCAA incessantly talks about African Americans and the need for more opportunity for Black Americans in college sports but ho does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT IT. That type of Duplicity is the Worst Kind.

Yes we could go on and on but rather let’s explain the reason Thomas Jefferson is surprisingly “featured” as the image at the top of today’s Anniversary Box. A few reasons. Because Sports is not about Sports but Life itself as we repeat as our mantra ever so frequently and as many individual Boxes illustrate.

The fact is although Thomas Jefferson was THE Leader of Plantation Society at the birth of our nation and in effect did more than any other single individual to institutionalize Slavery in America even today Jefferson is praised as one of the Greatest Americans because 1) his place in Slavery is most often ignored, and 2) when it is acknowledged he is “praised” for his self serving Lip Service critical of Slavery while he was advancing. Call it Duplicity.

Today’s Sports Establishment is a refection of the Jefferson Effect updated for the 21st century in which “that form” of Slavery no longer exists. But where a very unfair society does while those with Power deny it.

But here is the other all powerful Point

African Americans ae not

without Serious Blame

Two facts that African Americans are rare to acknowledge about the history of Slavery in America are 1) White Plantation Society could never have kept 4 million million African Americans enslaved in some Southern States about as many Africans as Whites some in the 1800s IF those African Americans had rebelled in LARGE numbers. On many Plantations they could have “easily” overwhelmed the far smaller number of Whites living on many of these plantations. Often one White Thug with a rifle was “watching over” dozens if not hundreds of Africans..

Instead the few enslaved African Americans who tried to lead rebellions of their fellow Slaves found few followers and were easily cut down. The same fate awaited John Brown who seized the federal arsenal in Harpers Ferry, Virginia believing the Slaves would rebel. They did not and John Brown hanged for his Trouble.

The other Dirty Secret about Slavery 2) is that it would have been IMPOSSIBLE for White Slave Traders to dock their ships in Africa and fill them to bursting with African men, women and children IF other Africans did not cooperate with them and in effect sell fellow Africans into Slavery for a Price.

What we have here in 21st century America in Sports is very different but identical in other ways.. So called African American “leaders” almost never complain about the lack of progress of Blacks in Sports. Indeed rather assisting White dominance but belittling Sports and telling African Americans they should look for success elsewhere.


Because for White Americans Sports is

a cornucopia of opportunity and success

at every level and facet of Sports

from ownership to management

to media to merchandising

on and on and on

But even more to the point are those journalist Bill Rhoden calls ” 40 Million Dollar Slaves” in the title of his classic book on Sports published in 2006. Those African Americans so very successful in Football and Basketball and Baseball to a far lesser extent who keep their mouths SHUT in return for all the Dough and their fear of being labeled “trouble makers,” And then of course there is Tiger Woods the most successful African American athlete ever and the most pathetic of all time.

The worst part about the discrimination and bigotry in American Sports coupled with the amount of African American acquiescence to it is that the vast majority of Americans meaning White Americans who are not among the Elite are victimized as well by significant unfair elements at the very core of our American society that the majority of White America should appreciate limits their choices and diminishes their own lives if they are NOT among the Rich and Powerful.

As one poignant example in America’s Occupation of Iraq it is not mostly African Americans who are being slaughtered and maimed and permanently scared mentally by this Butchery but poorer Whites who see signing up for “service”: in Iraq as 1) either their best opportunity to advance themselves, and/or 2) a way to get enlistment money upfront their families desperately need.

Here at Black Athlete Sports Network

and right here in the Black Box

we will continue waging

The Good Fight

just as Slavery


because it could no

longer be maintained

the unfairness in

American Sports

will come to it’s

END if we keep

Fighting the

Abuse and

We Will

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