Black History: Special Delivery!!
African American athletes can be found in most major U.S. sports such as basketball, football, baseball, etc. However, there are some sports that are very popular internationally but not as popular here in the United States. One such sport is rugby. The Power Center Academy, a high school in Memphis Tennessee may be helping to put rugby on the map in the United States. Located in the inner city the school has an all Black rugby team that is being noticed nationally and internationally. Players on the team describe the sport as being “football and soccer put together” The game is also played with no pads and no helmets; which helps to cut down on the cost.
The school initially had many players who wanted to play football. However the school could not afford the cost of having a football team. So rugby was introduced as an alternative. The team is coached by Shane Young who came to Memphis as part of Teach for America. Rugby is usually associated with prep schools and elite colleges. An inner-city team is certainly rare. An all black team is pretty much unheard of.
Since Power Center Academy started its first team they have gone from losing every game in its first season, to last year winning most of their games. Three of the teams players are national all-stars which means that scholarship opportunities could also come with their recognition as high school standouts. By spring of 2016, Memphis will have a total of 6 rugby teams in the inner rcity comprising approximately 170 players. The team was recently featured on NPR. Click on the link below to check out the article.
Did you miss our earlier Black Mail post? Check out a thought provoking African Proverb by clicking here.