Chapter 5: Segregation with and without discrimination
It took nearly 40 years from the integration of the NFL for a black quarterback to start a Super Bowl game. It did not become a common occurrence until five years ago. Similarly, black players were seldom used as pitchers and catchers in MLB long after racial integration started. Chapter 5 explains how this “positional segregation” is too easily ascribed to bias alone. Black players dominate the defensive backfields of NFL teams, but no one attributes this segregation to bias. The chapter uses Babe Ruth’s skills along with performances in Olympic running and weightlifting events to illustrate the importance of relative, not absolute, skill and how relative skills can differ across regions and races. In addition, the chapter accounts for the role of playing strategies and styles on racial outcomes using data on differences between college and professional football and the performance data for black and white quarterbacks.
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