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LJWorld.com weblogs Lawrence in the News

Sayers says this Super Bowl big day for blacks

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¢ Gale Sayers, the former Kansas University and NFL star running back, says Sunday's Super Bowl, which features two black coaches, is an important moment for progress in race relations. He's the focus of an article on [Bloomberg.com][1]."We should be talking to our children - going to high schools, going to colleges and talking to them about this day," Sayers, 63, said in the suburban Chicago headquarters of his computer systems company, Sayers Group LLC. "It knocks down all these rednecks out there who say that blacks cannot win, or cannot play quarterback or cannot be a head coach."¢ Lawrence residents will be interviewed for a [University of Missouri][2] research project that aims to make Columbia, Mo., more friendly to walkers and bikers as a form of transportation.Sayers will conduct a telephone survey of Columbia residents to assess the level of physical activity before the infrastructure changes. The researchers also will interview residents in Lawrence, Kan., who will serve as a control group because of the demographic similarities between Columbia and Lawrence. The interviews will be conducted in the spring and concluded before June 2007 when infrastructure changes begin in Columbia. Two years later, researchers will conduct another assessment of the same individuals and look at how physical activity levels have changed. Sayers hopes to continue to evaluate changes in physical activity behavior in other future surveys to determine the long-term effects of these infrastructure changes. [1]: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601079&sid=a7EMp5BWlkZs&refer=home [2]: http://www.research.missouri.edu/news/stories/070129_obesity.htm

Comments

Shardwurm 7 years, 10 months ago

What a shame Mr. Sayers has to bring this up. Personally I don't care what race they are...I didn't even know Lovie Smith was an African American until a few weeks ago and only because the media made a big deal out of it.

I think we're supposed to get to the point where we don't notice or care what race someone is. I've made it there. Too bad everyone is choosing to highlight this instead of just letting it be.

From the bottom of my heart I don't care what race these people are, but now that this is being splashed all over the media I'm forced to notice.

galfromku 7 years, 10 months ago

I have not heard those comments from a redneck before. We live right smack dab in redneck country and when I watch a game on TV 98% of the players are black, whether or not they are the quarterback or any other position. One of the top Lawrence stories today is about Rehelio Samuel, 74, the city's director of human relations who is retiring.

(http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2007/jan/30/longtime_voice_equality_focused_human_relations/?city_local )

He is a black man who has shown us that color has no place in a person's worth or what they are capable of. I work at KU and don't really see discrimination of any race really. Perhaps because it almost HAS to be a multicultural campus because of the environment and the students that come here. I, myself have worked in humanities for several years here and don't experience the things Sayers talks about at all. Oh... and even though I work in the warm, fuzzy humanities field, I date one of the biggest gearhead & redneck ever, who drives a big duelly truck and everything. Still, he enjoys the theatre, the arts and keeps up on political matters with the best of the "NON-rednecks" .He is not like the "redneck" Sayers talks about. It is almost like reverse discrimination on his part. Maybe I am more "out of the loop" than I realize. I just don't see it around here.

hip_gma 7 years, 10 months ago

I am NOT a prejudice person. But I do want to say that minorities want to be treated equally, and I agree, but they seem to be the ones bringing up the "race card" when it's beneficial or convenient for them.

KS 7 years, 10 months ago

You got that right, Marion. I thought we were supposed to be getting past this typeof stuff?

braden_quinn 7 years, 10 months ago

I'm tired of hearing about this story. The fact that they're African American shouldn't be a good oppertuity to blow the story out of proportion. It should go down in the record books that good coaching got them to where they are. And that Yes they were the first. But don't sell the story the wrong way around.

What race they were might make for a good Trivia Pursuit question nothing more.

topflight 7 years, 10 months ago

I cannot believe that i am going to say this, but i agree with Marion. Very well said. Just play the damn game and get over the color.

KDA 7 years, 10 months ago

It is historic for blacks to have two head coaches in the Super Bowl. You have to understand where Mr. Sayers is coming from. He comes from an era where racism was out in the open. We were constantly told that we could only play the game, but not smart enough to coach it. He is just proud to have this happen. And Yes, racism still exists. It is just more undercover...as a black man I still endure racist situations in 2007....

rrh 7 years, 10 months ago

Heck, Gayle Sayers is proud to be a Kansas Jayhawk and a Chicago Bear as well. He has every right to be proud of both teams... and both coaches in Sunday's big game. All I can say is GO BEARS !!

Steve Jacob 7 years, 10 months ago

In the NFL, the only things that matters is wins and money. If you don't win, people will not spend hard earned money on tickets. You hire the best man for the job. Color does not matter. Did not help Dennis Green or Art Shell.

sun45kiss 7 years, 10 months ago

I don't like it that they make such a big deal out of it. What about the players forget about the color. I'm a black girl so called African American now, and I think this is just as ridiculous. This will change eventually, hopefully all this talk about color will too. They should be talking about FOOTBALL

andrew55 7 years, 10 months ago

Racism will always be with us. I am qualified to make that statement: I experience it daily. It may not be as obvious as a burning cross. Unfortunately, the "Drive-by media" has to have something to sell papers. Mr. Sayers was speaking from his historical perspective.

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