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WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO THE WHITE ATHLETE?
S.L. Price
December 08, 1997
Unsure of his place in a sports world dominated by blacks who are hungrier, harder-working and perhaps physiologically superior, the young white male is dropping out of the athletic mainstream to pursue success elsewhere
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December 08, 1997

What Ever Happened To The White Athlete?

Unsure of his place in a sports world dominated by blacks who are hungrier, harder-working and perhaps physiologically superior, the young white male is dropping out of the athletic mainstream to pursue success elsewhere

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Wherever he races, Little can feel it, the slightest hint—and it is no more than a hint—of what Jackie Robinson felt 50 years ago: He is the White Guy, the one athlete in the field whose skin color is noted every time he runs. "That's my identity," Little says, and, no, he doesn't like it much. When he wins before a white audience, the roar from the crowd has a different quality, a current of surprise, "like they just saw a miracle happen," he says. When he won the 400 meters at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., last year before a racially mixed crowd, there was a low buzz from the stands, then silence.

At home in Iowa, his parents share in the glory. Often someone will offer a smile of congratulations and tell his mom that Kevin must have black blood.

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

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