Posted by HG on April 2, 2007

There’s been a lot of talk over the past couple of weeks about the decline of black (African-American) players in jackierobinson101.jpgMajor League Baseball. Black players made up 27.5% of baseball in 1975, 8.4% in 2006.  The reasons given for the decline are numerous, ranging from economic factors to MLB’s lack of attention to the African-American community. The article at goes into good depth about the subject.

Another sport that’s being affected is boxing, the heavyweight division in particular. The linear champion title, dating back to 1882 and John L. Sullivan, was held by African-Americans from 1960 until 1998 when Lennox Lewis took the title from Shannon Briggs. Since ’98 the LC has gone from Lennox to Rahman back to Lennox to Vitali Klitschko (after Lewis vacated the title) back to Rahman (after Klitschko vacated the title) and on to Oleg Maskaev after he defeated Rahman. When Hasim Rahman, Shannon Briggs, Chris Byrd, and Lamon Brewster are the Great Black Hopes, there’s a problem. When James Toney can eat anything within reach and be considered a player in the heavyweight picture, there’s a big problem.

Baseball and boxing share the same troubles, they’re called the NFL and the NBA. The best African-American athletes are playing football and basketball. Even a 5’10 Ozzie Smith would be a T.J. Ford or a Deion Branch now. I’m willing to bet money (especially since it can never be proven) that there’s a player in the NFL or NBA that could be the heavyweight champ if they had studied boxing like they did their current sport.

Where Are The Black Players? Swag Jacked from 

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