Blacks in Sports: The Darwinian Race

Darwin’s theory of natural selection is that individuals with favorable traits are more likely to survive and reproduce than those without them. The theory suggests that those who are stronger and who have adapted to the surroundings of their habitat are better equipped to handle the struggles they will face in their world. Darwinalso proposes that the heritable component of these favorable traits will be passed along to their progeny, so that during the course of reproducing generation after generation, these favorable traits will become more and more apparent in the resulting off-spring.

When people think of natural selection, they often think of animals in the wild who adapt and change their physical traits to survive the wilderness. But natural selection definitely applies to human beings, if not more so. Humans have gotten taller, have developed bigger mental capacities, and are more immune to the diseases and ailments of their natural habitat than their ancestors were. But the buck doesn’t stop their. In sports and athletics, it has become quite apparent that the athletes of today are undoubtedly stronger and faster than the athletes of a half-century ago. The athletes’ times are lower, their bench presses are higher, and their weights are much heavier. Natural selection in sports is why athletes break records and competitors do something one day that they could not do the day before. Athletes’ capabilities change through their own personal development, and from the reproduction of the heritable components of favorable traits that are the results of that personal development. Seeing as that is, I want to propose the theory that the reason for blacks having a percentage of athletes in sports that is superior to that of the percentage of blacks in is because of the natural selection process that took place on Africans during the triangle trade.

The numbers speak for themselves. In the major sports that most interest African-American children, there is a dominating presence of Black athletes. The NBA is 78% black, and over the last 5 years, only 3 non-black athletes were First-Team All-NBA. The NFL is 69% black, and in positions that are predominantly based on speed and athleticism (running back, corner back, and wide receiver), there are less than 3 or 4 non-black athletes projected to start the 2006 NFL season. Conversely, Blacks only make 12% of the American population. So for the NFL to have 5 times that percentage of blacks on its rosters, and for the NBA to have 6 times as much, there is obviously some element dependent upon race that is causing blacks to become professional athletes at much higher rates than their general population percentage would suggest. Even in major league baseball, a sport that is of little interest to young, black, urban, youth, still contains a 10% Black population, and a 31% Latino decent population, and Latinos can be considered to be of African descent. There is also a study performed by the Journal of National Cancer Institute that says Blacks contain anywhere from 3 to 19 percent more testosterone that Whites, which may explain the propensity for Blacks to be apparently more athletic. But what can account for this increase in testosterone, and overall athletic ability?

Some people try to pin Black success in sports to the fact that the average black youths’ economic status is low, thus leading some to believe that sports is the only way for some inner-city black youth to move up the socioeconomic ladder. But for every black kid that has a burning desire to make it to the pros, there are 4 or 5 white youths who are playing organized basketball, baseball, football or soccer.

I would like to propose that the reason for black success in their athletic pursuits, their higher levels of testosterone, and their inclining position in sports, is the resulting factors of the triangle slave trade and American slavery. And this is not a stretch by any means when you really think about it. Darwin proposed that individuals adapt to their surroundings in order to survive, and those who are able to adapt more are more likely to endure their habitat. His theory then suggest that those adaptations are passed from generation to generation, getting stronger and more prevalent through further adaptation in each individual until the feature is completely genetic and remains a characteristic of the species.

As I mentioned before, this theory is explained quite well in the development of athletes over time. But one must also look at the fact that this theory applies to specific lineages in sports history. After all, no one with any knowledge of sports would fail to admit that there have been a number of father-son, even mother-daughter, sports connections that have produced two great athletes. Even in everyday life we see that some families produce better athletes than others; it is why brothers and sisters in high school and junior high play sports mutually.

So if athleticism can often be traced to certain lineages in history, why not go back even further? When slave traders were bringing blacks across the
Atlantic Ocean in the 1600’s and 1700’s, very few Blacks survived. They were placed in holdings in the bottom of the ship, where they were forced to live in meager and insalubrious conditions. They had little food and were also exposed to diseases from Europe and the of which they were not originally immune to. Only 33% of Africans involved in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade survived, meaning that only those that were strong enough to adapt to and endure minimal amounts of water and food, malnutrition, diseased ridden quarters and infighting between themselves, were capable of making the trip across the Atlantic. That 33% means that for every slave that was successfully instituted into a New World plantation, two died as a result of the detriments of slave trading. This causes me to believe that this 33% survival rate resulted in only the strongest of the strongest Blacks being left available to New World slavery. The advent of slavery then caused slaves to adapt to a new world full of different temperatures, working regiments, and diseases. This adaptation caused the black population in these slavingNew World countries to develop more favorable traits, such as speed, strength, higher levels of testosterone, and endurance. These traits helped them in their fields of work and helped develop a more capable immune system than they had prior to slavery. After all, blacks had to be stronger and more capable in order to hold any leverage in the slavery system. If a black wanted to stay close to their family, they had to demonstrate superior capabilities in order to prevent the eventual selling of their bodies; so naturally, blacks adapted. For these adaptive occurrences to take place throughout the entire black population, blacks underwent natural selection for the entire duration of American slavery and then some, eventually resulting in the development of a Darwinian race; the superior black athlete.

But this not only occurred in the , but in all New World countries where slaves from Africa were being deported. This is why Brazilians are unquestionably the best people at soccer. It is why Latinos of either domestic or foreign descent comprise of 31% of Major League baseball when they are only 12.5% of the national population. It is why Jamaicans continually produce top track and field athletes despite them being such a poor and relatively diminutive nation.

Here in though, the results are of much more enormity. Blacks are the reason for much of the categorical dominance in sports over the past 30-40 years. Blacks are the predominant race in American basketball, football, track, and boxing. And when you think of the best players to play these major sports that the has dominated for so long, you often will come upon names that belong to an African-American. Conversely, when you think of the major sports that the is not dominant in, such as hockey, baseball, soccer and rugby, these are sports that are not predominantly black. This is no coincidence. Blacks, the Darwinian race and the United States’ preeminent athletes, do not play hockey, baseball, and soccer, and thus the United States is rarely every going to appropriately contend to be as good in those sports as they are in the ones in which blacks participate in. So just from observing how the has dominated basketball, track and boxing over the past 40 years, you can see that blacks are the consistent factor that contributes to the ‘s success in these sports and their failures in the others.

If you still do not believe in the fact that African-American Blacks have developed into a superior athlete, then look at how African-American Black athletes differ from their ancestral countries in Africa. Other than the male dominating the New York and Boston marathons, you hear very little about African success in sports. Granted, the average economic conditions in these countries is far below that of the Western civilization, but you still hear about those 2 or 3 Kenyans in the marathon, but you don’t hear about those 2 or 3 Kenyans in any of the other major sporting events, or at least I don’t. Thus tt seems pretty apparent to me that the African-American Black has exceeded the athletic capabilities of its ancestral nations due to the fact that a long time ago, some White Europeans took blacks from Africa and only allowed the top third to survive.

With only the top third of blacks surviving the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, not to mention New Worlders only selecting the strongest looking individuals in the first place, it is no wonder that Blacks have come along to dominate the most prevalent sports in . You know, there was a time when baseball was ‘s sport even though it had closed its doors to African-Americans for so long. But when African-Americans finally broke down those doors, at its peak, Blacks flooded the gates of the MLB and were members of the Majors at a much higher fraction than their stake in the general population. When the fervor of getting into baseball finally died down in the minds of the Black population, so did black participation in the sport of baseball. This is why Black contribution in baseball is half of what it once was, coupled with the fact that it is much easier to start a game of basketball or football in the inner-city because all you need to play is a ball. The decline in Black participation in baseball probably has a lot to do with the fact that the had such a poor showing in the World Baseball Classic earlier this year. If Major League Baseball, and , ever wants to regain its Baseball dominance, it might consider starting a promotion to encourage the Darwinian race to become avid participants.

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