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Former Olympian Michael Johnson: The Descendants Of Slaves Have Athletically Superior Genes
Former U.S. Olympian Michael Johnson — one of the greatest 200 and 400 meter runners ever, a winner of four Olympic gold medals and eight world championship medals, and the man who wore these famous golden shoes — will be serving as an analyst for BBC in the upcoming London Games. And he’s already got some thoughts on this year’s sprinting events.
They’re interesting thoughts.
From Britain’s Daily Mail:
Olympic legend Michael Johnson 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?’
More from Johnson:
‘Difficult as it was to hear, slavery has benefited descendants like me – I believe there is a superior athletic gene in us.’
Johnson’s right, it is difficult to hear, although we’re sure plenty of people will be talking about it. The only reason this hasn’t blown up more, in fact, is because people are away from their computers and blowing up fireworks instead.
While we won’t wade too deep into this one right now (the Daily Mail does plenty of wading themselves if you’re interested), we will ask this question: how much of Johnson’s thoughts on ‘superior athletic genes’ will make it into his Olympics commentating? None? Some? Too many? Is this an uncomfortable conversation that’s not worth having? An uncomfortable conversation that is worth having? Maybe one that we would be better served having in a different forum?
It should be an interesting time, indeed, in the BBC booth.
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