Magazine article Ebony

Falls from Grace: What Young Black Athletes Should Learn from the Michael Vick and Marion Jones Dramas

Magazine article Ebony

Falls from Grace: What Young Black Athletes Should Learn from the Michael Vick and Marion Jones Dramas

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Olympian Marion Jones was naive for thinking her lies about steroid use wouldn't shred whatever credibility she possessed, along with the legitimacy of all those medals she once captured. The NFL's Michael Vick is America's version of "a new fool"--an individual who threw away $130 million in potential earnings for a few thousand dollars by betting on dogfighting. This has marked Vick as, arguably, the worst math student of modern times, bringing a new kind of negative attention to yet another Black athlete.

And for all those who consider such troubles as just another dark day for Black America, wake up and pay attention. No matter the time, place or culture, there are always lessons to be learned. Usually the lesson comes with a sacrificial lamb. To the two African-Americans foolish enough to be America's latest goats, there's only two things to say: Thank You! Sincerely!

Before Jones or Vick were adults, they were Black. Before they were stars, they were Black. Before they were wealthy, they were Black. But, apparently, they paid little attention to their most obvious reality. The lesson in their respective falls from grace is to make sure future generations remember one harsh reality: the odds are stacked against you--always--when you are Black. So go about the business of acting accordingly.

That has always been the case. O.J. Simpson certainly didn't help Black America's cause in that regard--back in 1994 and in the present. So when things are divided along racial lines, how exactly does Black America win? …

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