I can remember when I was little, I envisoned a professional football career. I created a mental image of the Heisman Trophy, sitting on the end table at mother’s home for everyone to see that her son was the best collegiate football player for one year.
But God had another plan; exemplified by my smallish 5’5, 130 pound stature. Although He teased me with grandeur thoughts of Olympic aspirations (two-time all-conference in high school, track scholarship to college.)
It was my junior year in high school when I decided what I wanted to do as a profession; to become a sports reporter. That made selecting a college an easy process. I just looked at the schools with a journalism program, applied until I eventually got accepted.
I can recall even back then that I was told how hard it would be to break into the journalistic field. I was 17, 18 years old then but as I approach my 25th birthday, understanding the difficulties of breaking into the field has never been so comprehensible.
A study was released in the summer of ’06 that showed that there are only 6.2 percent of the sports writing jobs are held by blacks. And I am fortunate enough to be among that percentage.
Back in January, I wrote a column about being a role model. At the time, it was written solely with the black youths in mind. But I had grossly underestimated those I can impact. There are very few young blacks who want to be sports journalists but there are more black journalists who want to cover sports.
Said Jonathan Landrum of the Associated Press that only has two black sports writer among its 43 bureaus, “I covered everything from religion to the hip-hop industry, but sports is my passion.
“And I’m going to keep pushing to become a sports writer.”
There aren’t many black sports writers to look up too. William Rhoden, Stephen A. Smith, Michael Smith (ESPN.com NFL writer), Michael Wilbon (from the Washington Post and ESPN’S Pardon the Interruption) ESPN.com’s Page 2 crew and myself.
And may be one day I will become a professor at a university to be the example for black journalism majors that even though we are small in numbers, it is possible.
I am honored, I am blessed to be one of the few, one of the proud, one of the black sports writers.
That was His plan.