“No you, being black in America is

matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you are, no matter how
many people admire you, being black in America is – its tough.” LeBron James.

These are comments made by one of the most elite athletes in the world. He has
fears and lives with them on a daily basis. There have been loads of
stereotyping experiences felt all through America not only by the African
Americans but also by all minority groups in the U.S. Racism is alive and well.

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Beneath their success and influence in their different sport ventures lies the
fear of racism.

      Racism has been a factor undermining
minority groups in America up to the present day. The athlete today is compared
to a superhero to the masses. With his/her impressive performances on the
field, he is glorified and shed on light for his/her merits and demerits. Being
an athlete calls for sacrifice, unlimited hours of perfection of their craft
day in day out. It’s a lifetime dedication that comes from passion. This is
true for all athletes in the world. In America however, the black athlete has
his/her hidden fears that live inside each and every day. Racism is prevalent
in their situation in the field and even sometimes in the organization that
they are part of. Adam Jones, the Baltimore Orioles center fielder is one of
the recent examples of experiencing racism. He recalls being called the n-word
a couple of times by the Boston Red Sox fans while also throwing at him a bag
of peanuts. He spoke out about this the experience he had at Boston in a very
sad way. He could not comprehend how the behavior of those who slurred names at
him was so full of hatred and anger at him because of his skin color. This has
not been a new case scenario. For over 60 years most of the major league
athletes have had something to say about the experience. In his memoir in 1979,
Bill Russell, an NBA champion who won 11 championships for the Boston Celtics
called Boston ‘a flea market of racism’. Even he, with all that he had
contributed to the city experienced racism in his career.

        A similar scenario happened to LeBron
James, a three-time NBA champion, where an unidentified person spray-painted
the n-word on his gate in his Brentwood resident. He was currently not in his
home but he commented a very heartfelt message about the action. He talked
about how it reminded him of the mother of Emmett Till, a black American who
was lynched in 1995 at the age of 14. The mother insisted that his casket be
left open in his funeral so that the world would see how brutally they had
murdered his son. “We got a long way to go for us as a society and for us as
African Americans until we feel equal in America.” Said James. Investigations
were done through the surveillance cameras to identify the person who
spray-painted his gate.

       Serena Williams is a symbol of Black
female Excellency in more ways than one. She is a highly decorated world tennis
player with a tremendous record and ability to overcome obstacles of all sorts.

After giving birth to Alexis on September, she notices alarming sensations in
her body. Serena has been an athlete almost all her life meaning that she is
quite familiar with her body; taking time to listen to what it requires and
needs. This being the case, she requested for blood thinners from her doctors
but they ignored her putting her in life threatening condition. She also popped
open the C-section stitches from intense coughing and developed a hematoma in
her abdomen. She would later then spend six weeks of her daughter’s life
without being able to get out of bed. Statistics show that the likelihood of
black women dying after pregnancy to white women is three out of four. These
are brought about by access to health care, insurance cover, and education. The
underlying reason however, one that is usually left out is the difference in
treatment and care offered to white patients over black patients.

     The Negro League Baseball was born out of
necessity in the late 1880s. This was mainly because the black American was not
allowed to join the national league dominated by white supremacy. These bans
that excluded those of color from participating were very prevalent in the
1890s. This made the blacks work together to form their own organization, which,
over time, became one of the most successful organizations run by African
Americans. Their growth was a symbol of their dedication and determination to
rise above racism and social injustices that they were going through during the
time. Jackie Robinson was the first to break the color barrier by joining in
the Dodger’s organization. This opened gates for players like Joe Black, Don
Newcombe, and Roy Campanella. By the year 1952, over 150 players were in Major
League Baseball.

        Not so long ago, a couple of NFL player
teamed up in solidarity and in defiance. This was in the support of the Black
Lives Matter Movement that addressed the unnecessary killing of African
Americans by armed police. The stand saw aggressive responses from the then president
aspirant Trump calling them names and talking about how they should find
another country that fits them. It is quite clear that athletes who are black
are not yet treated equal as the rest, especially in America. To them, wealth
does not equate freedom. This is the beneath perspective of what the black
athlete goes through in his/her personal life. Beyond all the wildest success
and fame, lies beneath an insecurity that follows them every day.