Thursday, September 10, 2015

'Friday Night Lights' Author: Black Athletes Who Fail Face 'Racist Scorn'



Twenty-five years after he published the bestseller Friday Night Lights, Buzz Bissinger still isn't satisfied with how the machine of football in America treats minority athletes.


In the book, Bissinger writes about Boobie Miles, a promising young athlete whose potential in sports is shattered because of a knee injury. During a conversation with HuffPost Live's Nancy Redd on Tuesday, Bissinger explained how that tragic loss of opportunity is still alive and well among African American kids who think sports are their only path to success. 


"We're really selling inner city kids in particular, black kids in particular, a bill of goods, and that's pointed out in Friday Night Lights," Bissinger said. "There's no better, more tragic, more harrowing, more sad example than the main character of the book, which is Boobie Miles. ... He's the poster child for what happens -- and I don't know how else to say it -- when you are treated as a football animal. When it is believed you have no value -- none -- beyond your ability to play sports." 


Bissinger added that it's incredibly difficult for athletes to find another way to be successful after they've been torn down because they couldn't make it in football.


"When you get no education, when you're put on a pedestal and when that pedestal is taken away from you because you got hurt and then you're treated with racist scorn, you have no way, no underpinning or no foundation to make it in life," he said. "You just don't."


Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation with Buzz Bissinger here.


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