Duke professor claims black men ‘disproportionately’ affected by ‘violence’ of football, admits to having no facts

Reminiscent of comedian Mike Meyers Saturday Night Live Sketch “Coffee Talk,” the latest woke arguments from one publication about the “racism” of violence in football had readers calling out Scientific American as neither scientific nor American.

Embracing the Marxist tradition of not letting a crisis go to waste, the recent collapse of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin in the first quarter of his teams matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals was not treated as an opportunity to analyze the myriad medical reasons that the 24-year-old might have suffered injury, but instead as a chance for race-baiting.

On Friday, Duke University assistant professor of cultural anthropology Tracie Canada penned an opinion piece for the outlet entitled “Damar Hamlin’s Collapse Highlights the Violence Black Men Experience in Football” and the swift backlash included former player and NFL coach Tony Dungy who reacted, “As a black man and former NFL player I can say this article is absolutely ridiculous.”

In the article, Canada wrote, “This ordinary violence has always riddled the sport and it affects all players. But Black players are disproportionately affected. While Black men are severely underrepresented in positions of power across football organizations, such as coaching and management, they are overrepresented on the gridiron. Non-white players account for 70 percent of the NFL; nearly half of all Division I college football players are Black. Further, through a process called racial stacking, coaches racially segregate athletes by playing position. These demographic discrepancies place Black athletes at a higher risk during play.”

It’s important to note that Canada’s research is devoted to the study of sport as it relates to race, gender and the like and she Ph.D. holder from the University of Virginia is working on a book specifically discussing the “experiences of Black college football players,” but even she admitted, in a quote highlighted by one social media user, that she is “not aware of research that compares the rate of injury between Black and white football players, heatstrokes, ACL and labrum tears, ankle sprains, bone breaks, and concussions are just a few of the consequences of how these bodies are used.”

Calling out the inherent racism of the argument, the account Monitoring Bias reacted to the article with a poll that asked “Should the NFL seek to achieve more equitable racial representation among its players in order to reduce this…unfortunate disproportionality?” with the choices being “No, that would be racist” and “Yes, that would be racist.”

Others rattled off some of the inequities that Canada hadn’t included like monetarily for the majority black league and how other sports should see to it that injuries inflicted on their athletes be more proportionally distributed. Of course, there were other crises that Scientific American hadn’t even bothered to shoehorn into the article and those couldn’t go unmentioned.

Lest the opinion piece be considered a fluke, Scientific American, which self-describes as “committed to sharing trustworthy knowledge, enhancing our understanding of the world, and advancing social justice,” recently drew attention to an article from 2020 that described combating obesity as rooted in racism which led to similar backlash including one mock quote, “‘Black women should stay overweight and poor because, racism’ — Scientific American.”


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Kevin Haggerty


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