A Viable Scientific Explanation for why Africans Dominate Sports

Thomas Jefferson declared that “…all men were created equal…” Everybody knows this statement isn’t literally true.  When I was a little guy in grade school I wanted to become an NFL star.  Then I ran track in the 7th grade and much to my disappointment discovered there were many faster runners than me.  I knew I was too small and slow to ever make it as a professional football player.  Later in life, I wished I was 3 inches taller because I learned the chicks dig taller men.  Alas, I realized in some respects I was even less than average.

Thomas Jefferson didn’t actually mean all men were created equal, but he did believe all men should be treated equally under the law.  The subject of this blog entry is a touchy topic, so I want to make it clear that I agree with  the true meaning of Jefferson’s declaration, and I don’t believe in discriminating against people of varying races or religions.  I do not believe any race is superior to any other, though there are clear physical differences between races.  My essay is based on scientific facts published in peer-reviewed literature.  A scientific fact can not be considered racist or bigoted.

Athletes of African descent dominate running and jumping events in track, basketball, and certain positions in football such as running back, wide receiver, and defensive back.  There is not a single white cornerback in the NFL and only a handful of white running backs. This disparity can’t be explained by socio-economic factors alone.  While it is true that the average African-American family is economically poorer than the average white family, the total population of poor white people in America far outnumbers the total population of poor black people.  The pool of potential white participants who would like to escape poverty by playing basketball in the NBA or cornerback in the NFL is large but there are very few able to compete at that level due to a lack of natural ability.  There is an interesting and viable scientific explanation for this disparity.

Africa is the original birthplace of the human race.  Genetic studies show the original home of all species includes a more genetically diverse population.  After a new species evolves, they colonize new regions.  The populations that colonize new regions descend from the smaller gene pool that invaded the new territory. The history of Homo sapiens is an especially excellent illustration of this concept.  The ancestors of all Homo sapiens currently living on earth originally evolved in south Africa about 200,000 years ago.  About 60,000 years ago, a small population of humans left Africa and eventually the ancestors of this group spread throughout the world.  The entire population of Europeans, Asians, and Australian aborigines descend from just 1 or a few tribes that left Africa long ago.  This means Africans are more genetically diverse than the people who colonized the rest of world.  There is more genetic diversity in an African village of 70 people than there is in all of China.

The Khomani bush people of south Africa are the oldest race known.  Scientific studies show they are genetically the most diverse people in the world.  All of humanity descends from their ancestors.  Photos of Khomanis are remarkable.  Of course, they all have dark skin, but their facial features show a wide variation.  Some look Caucasian, some look Asian, and some have Negro features.

Khomani African Bushmen are genetically the oldest human race.  Their ancestors are the ancestors of tribes that gave birth to other Africans, Caucasians, and Asians.  Facial features within this tribe vary–some look Asian, others Negroid, and some resemble Caucasian.  Note the woman on the left.  She looks Asian, while the baby has Negroid features.

These Khomani children could almost pass for white.

As the descendants of the Khomani colonized the rest of Africa, the various tribes became geographically isolated.  Humans evolved in Africa for 140,000 years before any left the continent, so the overall population on this continent remained genetically more diverse than the human populations in the rest of the world.  This genetic diversity meant extremes in various body types were more pronounced in Africa than in Europe and Asia.  For example 7 foot tall Watusi tribesmen lived within miles of 4 foot tall pygmies.  Studies show that people who lived in west Africa evolved (on average) an higher ratio of fast twitch muscle fibers than any other population of people.  This made them extraordinary sprinters and jumpers.  This explains why all cornerbacks in the NFL  and most Olympic sprinters are of west African descent.   Studies show that people living in east Africa evolved the ability to produce more energy producing enzymes.  This helps with long distance running and explains why Kenyans are dominating marathon running.


Pygmy tribes live just a few miles from the very tall Watusis, demonstrating the amount of genetic diversity in Africa.  You won’t find any pygmies in the NFL or NBA.  Almost all African-Americans in those sports leagues are of west African descent located to the northwest of pygmy tribal areas.

finish line in men's 100 meters at olympics

The average human of West African descent has an higher ratio of fast twitch muscle fibers than other humans.  This explains why people of West African descent dominate sprinting, basketball, and certain positions in football such as running back, receiver, and defensive back.

Studies have also found that the average African has a greater bone density than the average white person.  This durability aids in contact sports.  Africans have a much lower rate of developing osteoporosis and hip fractures.  African women are less than half as likely to suffer hip fractures when they get older than white women.  They are even less likely to get hip fractures than white men.  However, this greater bone density is a disadvantage in competitive swimming.

Note: None of these minor physiological differences are related to intelligence in anyway.


Entine, Jon

Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports and why We’re Afraid to Talk About it

Public Affairs 2000

Henn, Brenna; et. al.

“Hunter-gatherer Genome Diversity Suggests a Southern African Origin for Modern Man”

PNAS 2011

Hockberry, Marc

“Racial Differences in Bone Structure”

Transactions of American Clinical Climatological Annual 2007


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13 Responses to “A Viable Scientific Explanation for why Africans Dominate Sports”

  1. alarob Says:

    Very interesting blog, well expressed and well sourced. The dimensions of some pictures look distorted in my browser, but the pics themselves are great. Can you give a source for the Khomani images?

    For me, this was timely. I just had a conversation with someone who assumed that, because early human migrations came out of Africa, those early humans must have been “black” — so, he wanted to know, when did their descendants change color? The question’s a reminder of what a crude sense most of us have of the diversity of African humanity, past or present.

  2. Lamar Says:

    This is disgustingly racist.

    • markgelbart Says:

      My essay is not racist. I do not advocate discriminating against people because of their race. I merely pointed out the scientific reasons why Africans dominate sports. As I stated in my essay, these are scientific facts. A scientific fact is not racist.

      I am sorry you are too dumb to understand this.

  3. Lamar Says:

    You are saying that some human beings are inferior because of their skin color and genes. If that isn’t racist nothing is.

  4. Lamar Says:

    Liberals always blame conservatives of racism, while they publish trash like this.

  5. Lamar Says:

    Stop embarrassing yourself.
    You say all people aren’t really equal, and yet you expect me to believe you aren’t being racist.

    • markgelbart Says:

      I never wrote that all people are equal. Try actually reading what I wrote. I wrote that all people should be treated equally under the law.

      Man, you are so dumb.

      Of course, not everybody is equal. Some people are taller than other people. Some women are prettier than other women.

      It’s not racist to report that there are physical differences between races. That is just a fact.

      Some people are blacker than other people. Fact! Some people have red hair. Fact!

      Reporting these facts does not make me a racist.

  6. Esther Says:

    Interesting topic and really well written. It is sad some people think it is racist because it is not!
    I believe some topics have become taboo in our society and it’s totally pathetic. Our species as any other in this world (as we ARE animals after all) have differences due to adaptations to the geographical and weather conditions we inhabit and also, recent studies show that our genetics are not 100% “Homo Sapiens Sapiens” as for example, people from european descent have a tiny amount of Neanderthal DNA (and this leads to a slightly different appereance and being prone to specific illnesses).
    Stop whining about it, indeed, DIVERSITY exists within humans and it is not something to be ashamed of, nor to claim anyone is “better” or “worse” than another (which is not what is written in this blog). What is unforgivable is that for political correctness or guess what exactly we have to discredit scientific studies that only show human nature. This perfectly shows ignorance, simplicity and a total misunderstanding of the human rights principles, because they do not lie in being physically identical; mankind has been born free and we can choose the path we want, to be a tyrant or to be fair, and it turns out that we choose to be respectful and tolerant (well, “we” doesn’t refer everyone in this planet *sigh*), choose not to discriminate because of being a woman or a men, or being black or white because we have arrived to the conclusion that everyone without exception deserves to live freely, regardless being Homo Sapiens Sapiens or Neanderthal or a damned alien, or even a robot!
    So, message for people claiming this is racist, nope, we are not going to give you the UN medal for human right activist , read it again and enjoy it!

  7. Hannah Says:

    Is this supposed to be racist towards black or white people? I’m black and I don’t find this offensive. It’s actually very informative and insightful. Using the words “negro” and “negroid” where a bit out of touch though.

    • markgelbart Says:

      You ask a dumb question. Reread the 2nd paragraph in which I wrote ” I do not believe any race is superior to any other, though there are clear physical differences between races. My essay is based on scientific facts published in peer-reviewed literature. A scientific fact can not be considered racist or bigoted.”

      Also use of the term “negro” in an anthropological context is not out of touch. It is like referring to white people as Caucasoid.

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