Tag Archives: athletes

Interracial Relationships

Holding HandsLet me say first that I am a lover of love, regardless of race, and I am in no way attempting to submit language that divides or offends. Nor am I trying to change minds. I just have questions, nagging ones, so this title may be a bit of a misnomer because I don’t really have questions about interracial relationships as a whole. I myself have participated in, daydreamed about, and enjoyed them. And I have found interracial relationships to be dreadfully similar to same-race ones. My questions though are about Black professional athletes. And as another disclaimer, my goal is not to discredit other races of women as reasonable and qualified mates. I just want to know why dating women who aren’t Black seems to be such a status symbol.

My question stems more from a place of hurt than of mere curiosity because I notice that more often than not when a Black male athlete reaches a place of success, there is woman on his arm who is not Black. If we all pretended to not see color, then perhaps this wouldn’t be startling at all, but since we’re being realistic, can we acknowledge that there is a bit of a formula here. I believe it looks something like this : Black male athlete+success=anything but a Black woman. And this formula sends a very disheartening message to Black women. Here we are, –well in order to avoid being too inclusive or exclusive, I will use myself as an example. Here I am, growing up around Black men, admiring Black men, and loving Black men. And here I am thinking that I will one day be the prize of one said Black man. But every time a Black male athlete chooses to overlook a Black woman, he tells her over and over again that she does not fit in with the image of success, that though she was great when he was broke, she is no longer suitable to a wealthy and successful man. How hurtful this is! And perhaps, I am taking things a little out of context, but I wonder how much of this is a figment of my imagination and how much of this is a case of deeply rooted rejection within the Black race.

Perhaps I lied–at least to myself. Maybe I really am trying to change minds. And maybe I’m not just hurt but annoyed at how insensitive this bold display of renunciation of Black women can be. Perhaps I thought that in 2011 Black women wouldn’t have to stomach feelings of being second best. Perhaps I thought Black men, even successful ones, saw Black women as valuable too.

I marvel at still how sensitive some racial wounds are.

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