Only One

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One Black coach, a few Black players reach NCAA women’s volleyball playoffs




Each of the four teams that played in the NCAA first- and second-round volleyball matches hosted last weekend by the University of Minnesota had at least one player of color: Cheyanne James (Radford), Alexis Austin (Colorado), Victoria Hurtt and Erin Taylor (Iowa State), and two Puerto Rico-born players: Iowa State’s Neira Ortiz Ruiz and the Gophers’ Daly Santana. James was second on her squad in kills — one of a school-record five players receiving all-conference honors. Hurtt thrice led Iowa State with 20-plus kills. Colorado Coach Liz Kritza called the sophomore Austin “team-oriented.”

While seeing a low single-digit number of players of color at a volleyball match, even a post-season match, wasn’t that surprising, discovering that one of the schools was coached by a Black female was a surprise, especially since, unlike the other three schools, her photo was not included in her school’s pre-game notes. Marci Jenkins last weekend completed her sixth season at Radford (Va.) University, which won the Big South conference this year. Continue Reading →

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Only Ones are common in the sport of baseball




Baseball supposedly is the all-American game, but today it looks more like apartheid:  Whites watch a game mainly played by White players, while most of the Blacks at the ballpark are not fans but concession workers. It’s like that at Minnesota Twins and St. Paul Saints games, and at Big Ten college baseball games as well. At last month’s Big Ten baseball tournament, Justin Cureton and I became unintentional kindred spirits. He was the only Black player on the field for the Big Ten regular season and soon-to-become tournament champion Indiana, and this reporter was the only Black in the press box. Continue Reading →

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