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Oppurtunity a Forgotten Substance

After a week in which we celebrate the life, achievements and most of all, courage of great Jackie Robinson, the results of a poll on foxsports.com reflect thoughts that are downright disturbing.
The question read, "Is the dwindling number of black players in Major League Baseball a serious concern?" As of today, after 17,332 votes, 12% agree, while 88% do not.

Are we really serious?

While the reasons for the lack of black ball players in Major League Baseball is attributed to many things from economics to lack of interest, to say such a matter is not important, or vital to the total growth of the game is ignorant.

While I agree with many that Jackie Robinson's efforts were more about brotherhood than the elevation of one race, Jackie's remarkable career did indeed emanate a sense of opportunity.

The argument however is the opportunity for children to choose. If black children across the nation rather toss a football, or shoot a jump-shot rather than drive in an RBI, who are we to force that upon them?

After all, why don't we try to create more Latin-American basketball players, Asian basketball players, or even black hockey players?

Just let the kids choose they say.

However, with the multi-athlete in high school, a prime period for learning the essential of all sports, becoming a thing of the past, it is no wonder the game of baseball is being left out. With football and basketball grabbing the attention of campus', and coaches demanding a year round program from their players, baseball and other sports are being pushed to the back.

With no experience, there is no interest.

Experience is everything in baseball. In fact, experience is the game of baseball.

Where is the opportunity?

This is evident as the pipelines that feed the Major Leagues is less than the seven percent that make up the show. With less than seven percent at the college level, and even less at the high school ranks opportunities are few and far for black ball players. Picking up a basketball and/or football has higher odds for success.

Not to mention the constant plugs for the NFL (All-year programming for NFL Live) and NBA by media outlets like ESPN.

The disappearing black baseball player has little to do with race and diversity than it does with the preservation of opportunity, a pillar for the foundation of Jackie's career, and life.

Until we wake up and realize that, we'll continue to witness whistles, cones, and shuttle drills on baseball fields for our youth in inner cities.

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