Georgetown Prof. Says U.S. Olympic Swim Team Being Majority White is a Result of the Jim Crow Era

Beatriz Madan | June 26, 2024
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Georgetown law professor Janel George shared a post on X (formerly Twitter) claiming that the fact that the U.S. Olympic team is predominantly white is a result of Jim Crow laws. 

“When people say that Jim Crow was so long ago, it’s important to remember the lasting effects of segregated spaces — like segregated swimming pools — and the continued impact across generations,” she posted. “This visual reflects that legacy.”

Although she may not realize that correlation doesn’t necessarily imply causation, many people on X were quick to point out her fallacy. 

One person commented, “Canada didn’t have Jim Crow. How many black swimmers do they have? You do know that every single statistical disparity isn’t a result of racism, right?” 

Related: Stephen A. Smith Makes the Stanley Cup Final All About Race

Others also quickly commented that in other sports black athletes are the majority with very little white representation. 

Another comment highlighted, “I love your theory, but I need to compile some more evidence to confirm it. Do you have a picture of some of the other US teams? Men's and women's basketball, perhaps?”

“Congratulations on having the dumbest tweets on X today. Now do basketball,” Riley Gaines wrote, replying to the post. 

It’s safe to say that certain races generally prefer certain sports over others, and as a result, there tends to be more athletes of those particular races in those particular sports. This has nothing to do with Jim Crow laws and the separation of races in swimming pools.

 

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