Letter: Why black people excel at sport- if they really do

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The Independent Online
From Mr Derron Leid

Sir: It is a sad thing when a person of such weight and public prominence as Sir Roger Bannister uses his position as a key to "enlighten" society so irresponsibly. Perhaps he should consider the economic disadvantages of black people, rather than the supposed physical/mental advantages deemed to make us "naturally superior" athletes.

I ask, would Sir Roger be pondering such questions were the overall picture of top athletes a "lighter" one? In my mind, the answer is very clear. So, we are to consider that a sport which is dominated by a minority can only mean one thing - "they must have had a head start ... unfair advantage ... special muscles".

There might be the slightest possibility that the success of black people in athletics is achieved through sheer hard work, determination, and the persistence of many schools in unfairly steering many black youngsters in the direction of sports, thereby forfeiting their opportunity to excel in the more academic pursuits.

Yours faithfully,

Derron Leid

London, SW12

14 September

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