Day by Day

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Grappling With Diversity

I had the opportunity to read a used, wrinkled, but free copy of USA Today on a plane last week, and found this juicy little story that got my mind to thinkin'.

The story is about the U.S. men's team in the World Championships of Freestyle Wrestling. USA Today titles the story "Diversity takes hold of U.S. wrestlers".

Here's a couple excerpts:

In 1964, Bobby Douglas became the first black to wrestle in the Olympics, according to his bio as a member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. This weekend at Madison Square Garden, he will coach the U.S. men's team in the World Championships of Freestyle Wrestling. The seven-member squad includes four blacks, a Hispanic, a white and a wrestler of Filipino descent.

"This is a great showpiece of the American dream," says Douglas, coach at Iowa State. "This is the most diverse freestyle team that we've ever had. It's a great reflection on America, and a great reflection on wrestling."
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But the demographics of college wrestling stand in contrast.
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According to NCAA data, 82.1% of 5,943 wrestlers on men's teams at all NCAA levels in 2001-2002 were white non-Hispanics.
Let's compare in brief the conclusion of this article to the conclusion often reached when examining skin color in the NFL.

In football:

67% of players are Black
6% of teams, run by white owners, have head coaches who are Black
Conclusion: Racism at work

Conversely, in wrestling:

82% of wrestlers are white
14% of the National Team, run by a black coach, are white
Conclusion: Diversity at work

Got that?

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