Olympian Michael Johnson Says Being Descended From Slaves Contributes to Athletic Ability
Here is the thing anytime you mention slaves people are automatically going to cringe. Regardless of the context it makes people uncomfortable.
Doesn’t matter if your point is logically or not, people see it as Taboo.
It doesn’t bother me, I look at the statements for what they are and make an opinion. Before I give you mine here is what Johnson had to say.
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?’
Johnson says: ‘It is currently being researched to see how much of a factor being descended from slaves contributes to athletic ability.’
Dr Herb Elliott, doctor to the Jamaican Olympic team, added: ‘Only the most aggressive and fiercest slaves ended up in Jamaica.’
Johnson, 44, had a DNA test for a Channel 4 documentary, Michael Johnson: Survival Of The Fastest, to be screened on Thursday night, which confirmed he is of West African descent.
He said: ‘All my life I believed I became an athlete through my own determination, but it’s impossible to think that being descended from slaves hasn’t left an imprint through the generations.
‘Difficult as it was to hear, slavery has benefited descendants like me – I believe there is a superior athletic gene in us.’
Genetics are important in anything you do, but by in large hard work and dedication is the difference between the winners and losers.
Michael Phelps isn’t descendent from Slaves and he dominates his sport.
I think while the premise of what Johnson is saying has some validity to it, I also believe it undermines the type of work any athlete has to put in to be great.
You hear the phrase “god giving ability” all the time, but just because you are given the ability doesn’t mean you use it properly.
If that was the case JaMarcus Russell would be the best quarterback in NFL right now as oppose to eating Cheetos on his couch.
If you play basketball it helps if you are naturally tall. If you play baseball it helps of you have great hand eye coordination. If you are a runner it helps that you are in a location that a lot of great runners come from. But that is only half the battle, the other half comes from what is inside of you. The desire and drive to be something special and in the end that is what determines who crosses that finish line first.
Interesting debate, but there are major holes in it, but nothing wrong with the discussion.