Unless you live on Mars you know that we have a new President. Barack Obama took the oath of office yesterday before an estimated 2 million people on the Mall. Of course it is historic that Obama becomes the first ever African American president in history but I believe the emergence of minorities in sports helped pave the way for Obama to become the Commander and Chief.
Let me explain. White Americans have been rooting for African American athletes for years. The most popular athletes in the past 2 decades are both black men. From the Mid 80's through the Mid 90's Michael Jordan was the most popular athlete in the country--possibly the world. Very few looked at his Airness as a black man...they just looked at him as a gifted athlete. From the late 90's to today the top athlete in our country is Tiger Woods. Ratings for golf tournaments rise and fall on Tiger's appearance in the event and on the leader board. Tiger has transcended race in the minds of every person in this country. Check out the Tiger fist pumps after a player sinks a long putt at the most exclusive country clubs in this country and you know it is not about race!
Steelers and Cardinals fans won't wonder why their white quarterback is throwing to black receivers in the Super Bowl. Steelers fans will demand that Ben Roethlisberger be looking for Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes when he is surveying the field for open targets. Arizona's hopes rest of the shoulders of Kurt Warner hitting Larry Fitzgerald like he did against the Eagles. White man throwing to a black man....no questions asked.
The popularity of sports and the emergence of minority athletes has made days like yesterday possible. That acceptance has pushed aside many of the qualms people in this country had about the leadership qualities of minorities.
I believe that the strength of women's athletics in this country will also pave the way for the first female President. Chew on that one.