Myth or Truth? Do Slave Descendants Have ‘Superior Athletic Gene’?
U.S. Olympic track legend, Michael Johnson, recently said in a UK publication interview, that the descendants of slaves make better athletes because they have a “superior athletic gene.” This same claim was made in the 1980s by Jimmy, ‘the Greek’ Snyder and he was accused of being racist, lambasted by the public and fired from his job at CBS Sports.
Michael Johnson, in his interview with the Mail Online says:
A ‘superior athletic gene’ in the descendants of West African slaves means black American and Caribbean sprinters will command the sport at the London Games.
The Olympic gold medallist and BBC commentator said: ‘Over the last few years, athletes of Afro- Caribbean and Afro-American descent have dominated athletics finals.
‘It’s a fact that hasn’t been discussed openly before. It’s a taboo subject in the States but it is what it is. Why shouldn’t we discuss it?’
In the 1980s, sports commentator, Jimmy ‘The Greek’ Snyder publicly made a similar comment to Michael Johnson’s:
Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder is fired after 12 years as a CBS football analyst for remarks he makes to a Washington, D.C, television reporter about the physical abilities of black and white athletes. Among other things, Snyder, 70, says the black athlete is “bred to be the better athlete because, this goes all the way to the Civil War when … the slave owner would breed his big woman so that he would have a big black kid.” Snyder later apologizes for the comments but his career as a broadcaster is over.
We were unable to locate the video of the above quote, but found this comment he made in 1988 and that he was fired for.
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