"It's a luxury to worry about these long-term, sort of abstract damages to these kids and their parents," Samaha said. "The risks are all around them — the risks of not going to high school, the risks of not making it into college, or the risks of of falling into kind of the street path that they'd seen other people around them fall into."Read it alongside this piece from (former New England Patriot) Martellus Bennett about the dreams we allow Black boys:
Football is their ticket out. But Samaha argues that America needs to reckon with the broader ethical implications of the sport.
"America's dual commitments to football and racial oppression have meant that the danger of the sport will increasingly fall on the shoulders of low income black and brown kids," Samaha said.
Our dreams on the field or the court seemed to be the most important ones to those around us. So they became the most important dreams to us, as well. They were the only dreams that those around us made us believe in.
And in Alief, where I grew up — and in places where so many black boys like me grow up — we had to believe in something. In my neighborhood, more than one-third of adult residents don’t have high school diplomas; fewer than 20 percent of black men in the Houston area have college degrees. Nationwide, black students get expelled from school three times as often as white students. Half of all black men have been arrested at least once by age 23. No wonder dreaming up a way out feels so urgent.