View Full Version : Interesting article about WC and race
08-22-2005, 09:46 AM
Here is an interesting article written by Michael Johnson about Wariner and Rock, the state of track in the U.S., and race. The article is critical of the USATF and why they aren't promoting the success of white athletes in the sport.
Even MJ gets it. The sport needs diversity in the sprints to gain popularity. Too bad the USATF doesn't see it that way.
08-22-2005, 02:37 PM
Great article SteveB.How ironic is it that a black man who was a former sprinter,talks about the lack of white sprinters in track.He nailed it on the head and I give him credit for writing the article.It also says a little about him to be Wariners Agent.Alot of athletes would be too jealous,especially of a white sprinter attempting to break all their records.Let's hear it for M.Johnson. smileys/smiley32.gif
08-22-2005, 03:52 PM
I do have to give Johnson credit for some of his statements. He has made
interesting remarks before on some of the same topics. Another black
athlete (and former Stanford head coach) Brooks Johnson was even more
vocal - although I think the "system" got him to shut his mouth. He used
to say talented whites were "all over the place" but were brainwashed,
intimidated, or just plain told they couldn't compete. He would use his
own Olympic performances, where he medaled, but gold went to whites,
things seemed to go back and forth between whites and blacks until '68...
which I might add was the first Olympics after the bolshevist takeover in
DC was complete (go ahead and laugh, but I'm not joking). Anyway, there
are a few black guys out there that know the deal. Jason Seahorn was put
at safety by a black assistant coach at USC.
Michael Johnson was coached by Clyde Hart, so maybe some of 'it' rubbed
08-22-2005, 04:59 PM
One thing to remember about MJ is that in high school he was overshadowed by a lot of other sprinters in Texas. I am the same age as him and was involved in track and football in Texas and I had never heard of him until college. Guys like Roy Martin, Joe Deloach, Stanley Kerr, Raymond Pierre, and Derrick Florence were grabbing all of the headlines (and scholarships). He has said on numerous occasions that he was grateful that Coach Hart took a chance and gave him a shot. I am sure that experience and seeing guys like Rock coming from small schools, formed his opinion of the system.
08-23-2005, 03:56 AM
They are having another discusion over at Trackandfieldnews.com about M.Johnson and
article.It's keeping people talking about
white sprinters & white distance runners.
This is a good thing.We need to educate people.
08-26-2005, 03:12 PM
could somebody post this article? i followed the link, but the page is no longer up at their site...
08-27-2005, 12:18 AM
Here ya go, Jimmy.
American athletes racing ahead but fans are left behind
By Michael Johnson
There was a lot of talk during the recent World Championships about the great performance of the American team, who brought home a record 25 medals, 14 of them gold. This group of young athletes, most of whom participated at the 2004 Athens Olympics, showed in Helsinki that they are here to stay.
But while the United States has produced an impressive group of athletes - to equal or surpass the great athletes we've had in the past - the level of interest back home could not be lower. The World Championships were not televised on NBC - the US Olympic rights holder for the past couple of decades - or on either of the other two major networks. They were also not shown on ESPN, the most dominant sports network in the country. However, they were televised on PAX, a growing but still small network, though for only one hour each day at 4pm east coast time (1pm in California).
No matter where you live in the States, most people would have been at work at that time, and many frustrated athletics fans had to watch it on their computers through a pay-per-view web cast.
Although USA Track & Field will certainly boast of having sent a team to Helsinki that dominated the medals table, the federation had little to do with producing these athletes. Most athletes are not funded by USATF, who also do not provide the coaches or venues for training.
It is all thanks to the United States' college and university system that the country is able to produce such great athletes and send such strong teams to the championships. You would think then that without having much work to do in terms of producing athletes, and having such a great product to work with, the American federation would be able to market the sport better in the country.
You might also think that USATF would ensure that not only athletics fans are able to follow the sport during a championship, but, in order to expand the sport's popularity and attract new supporters, they would provide an opportunity for everyone to see such meetings.
There has also been a lot of talk about the British team's poor performance in Helsinki, but at least British athletics fans got to see all the events at the championships.
I wonder if many people noticed some of the changes that I saw during these championships. The men's 400 metres final had a very different complexion to what I saw during my competitive days.
Jeremy Wariner and Andrew Rock, the gold and silver medallists respectively, are white Americans. I'm not sure of Tyler Christopher's racial background, but I am sure that he is not totally of African heritage. Add Tim Benjamin to that group and at least half of the field was not of the traditional African heritage that you normally see in a 400m final. In the past you had Roger Black or Thomas Shoenlebe, of Germany, who both ran very fast and won medals at major championships, but this championship was different with two white men grabbing the top medals, while Christopher took the bronze.
I think this should be a signal to young kids who look at the sprints and mistakenly think that they will never succeed due to the colour of an athlete's skin. Ditto for the children whose coaches convince them to move up to the 800m because of their skin colour. It is possible to be a successful sprinter, no matter your skin colour.
Wariner has always refused to let the colour of his skin be an issue, and that attitude has helped him to become the seventh fastest 400m runner of all time as well as the Olympic and world champion.
Another athlete who did not let stereotypes, his skin colour or the sceptics stop him from achieving greatness is Craig Mottram, of Australia, who finished third in an event that historically, and certainly recently, has been dominated by Africans. Mottram's bronze medal in the World Championships 5,000m was the first time since 1987 that a runner not born in Africa was placed in the top three of this event at the championships.
Mottram showed true grit and determination over the last 50 metres when, having been passed by what looked to be the eventual three medallists, he gave everything he had to pass the third-placed Eliud Kipchoge, of Kenya, to snatch the bronze medal. Mottrams' determination, not only in this race but also during training and preparation, should inspire to those young athletes who go into a race with Africans having already conceded the medals.
johnson is class. i've looked up to him since the 96 games.
09-21-2005, 03:30 PM
That link is no longer working??
12-13-2005, 02:26 PM
Yet another link about white sprinters breaking through the racial barriers again written by Michael Johnson.He talks about how they need role models that are winning at the highest levels so they can believe in them selves.
I give him credit for talking about this touchy subject!
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