Today the USA have overtaken China in winning medals in this year’s olympics. It seems these two countries are destined for greater things. I used to have this theory in my head that Africans are stronger and better athletes than other races but I guess I was wrong. Apart from few Kenyans and Ethiopians, I have not see anything extraordinary from our brothers and sisters.Why are Africans always at the bottom of the pit in almost everything?
I notice that some people qualify their sentences with the word “inferior” so as to hopefully discourage anyone from pointing out that Africans need to do some kind of self reflection. But I don’t intend to pursue the discussion about ‘inferior Vs superior’ anymore because people are bound to understand and interpret it differently. However, I can summarily add that NRM is inferior to Ugandans- inferior in the pursuit of a just society; inferior in the intellect that would enable one to take responsibility for their actions as a political organisation, i.e., the trashing of the 1995 constitution just to please one man, the rape of our security system (police and UPDF), lack of the ability to fight corruption among public officials, constant rigging of elections, e.t.c . But I have a hell of a lot of respect for some NRM individuals that have made a mark in our country fairly.
Nonetheless; most people I have encountered accept without a second thought that “blacks/Africans are better athletes”, even though it’s a problematic proposition at best for reasons that are not thoroughly explained. There are a lot of theories flying around explain certain groups of people or races, for instance, Eskimos are better equipped for Arctic weather, or Asians are smaller, the Manchus of North China are very tall. However, there has been some data suggesting that the children of many “short Asian” immigrants to the US and Europe are taller. So probably nutrition and environment play a role as well in differences in people’s physical appearance.
But Blacks” or “Africans” have not been demonstrated to be better sprinters on average than white sprinters though there is a theory that the best sprinters are West Africans. Some scientists have advanced the theory that since Africans generally have more genetic variation, period, than other populations that you are likely to find “the best” and “the worst” of a given characteristic among blacks in general. Of course, nobody gives out prizes for “most half-assed sprinter”, so the empirical data isn’t really all there. In any event, there is plenty of phenotypic variation among athletes and sprinters in particular. Enough to call into question some underlying belief – that certain phenotypes are known to be absolute advantages in the realm of sport.
In the first place, sports remain one way in which poor people, particularly Africans, have a shot at making careers and a bunch of money, so they tend to pursue such options with vigor, but how come the rich( Chinese and Americans) are winning more medals than us? How come we never accomplish anything? How come our governments are not investing in sports yet it provides an opportunity for a poor country to easily get international recognition. How come most Africans are identified with football teams in Europe than in their countries? Who is to blame for this? Is it the people or the governments? Uganda have got only 8 journalists covering Olympics but France has got a hundreds, why?
There was no affirmative action programme encouraging Jewish or Irish boxers early in this century -their relative disappearance from those sports involved socioeconomic changes, not their genetic fitness, and well-off groups tend to pursue careers where their chances of making it are better. Pro sports (and especially basketball) also market African-American players today in a very deliberate way .You might take a look at that book: ‘Darwin’s athletes’ and see what I’m talking about. You might also note the very different patterns of national and ethnic involvement in different sports that persist today.