How a white NBA player made me see things a little more clearly

10/9/2014

I know this isn’t exactly youth sports related, but because it’s sports and I think it’s something worth highlighting, I am going to push the limits of this BLOG and post this here anyway. And I do have a youth sports spin at the end. I’d love to hear what you think!

I think the Nik Stauskus story from ESPN.com that references being white in the NBA, more than anything I have read, gives me a clear understanding of one example about how black society feels. You hear so many white people say that they don’t understand how a black kid in the job market feels. They have the same opportunity right? If they are smart, talented and work hard, they surely aren’t treated any differently than any other person. Well this white basketball player who is smart, talented and works hard – but in a black dominated profession – paints a pretty good analogy. I can clearly see a black kid right out of college who has accepted a promising position saying to himself that he has to constantly fight the stereotype and prove himself more than the next guy does. 

So here’s my youth sports spin. So many wonder why so black children immediately gravitate towards sports, entertainment and the arts. I think Nik Stauskas gives whites a better understanding of this - although unintentionally. It’s about acceptance and being comfortable. Nik deserves praise for persevering in a traditionally black dominated sport through youth, high school, college and now professional basketball. And so do all of the young black business professionals that are experiencing the same feelings as Nik everyday.

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