Big-time college sports certainly are a terrible mess. Unfortunately, some people want to blame racism, which is a surefire way of getting lots of media attention.
In today’s Martin Center article, former college professor P.A. Jensen takes a critical look at the claims that college sports somehow reveal America’s deep racism. In particular, Jensen analyzes a recent study released by the Center on Race and Equity at the University of Southern California that is getting far more attention than it deserves.
The recurring focus on race in college athletics by the media reveals an unfortunate pattern: The faulty conclusion that any racial inequity necessarily signals oppression or exploitation. In other spheres of American life, perhaps that is a reasonable starting point. However, in a popular, voluntary activity such as college sports, a deeper look at the statistics reveals that inequities may have other explanations. In general, oppression may require inequity, but inequity does not require oppression.
As we approach March Madness, we will probably hear more about the supposed racism that infects college sports. Don’t buy it.