Six Black Sports That Should Be In The Olympics

As stories of dookie-laced oceans, terrorists mosquitos and unfinished dorms plague the 2016 Olympics, critics are calling this version of the Olympiad the “ghetto games.”

I take offense.

As someone who has covered the Olympics, I know that countries like China and Russia also had terrible planning and infrastructure related to the games, but because of their dictatorships, lack of access by the media and low numbers of brown-skinned people, “ghetto” did not become the narrative.

In fact, why have the Olympics never been held in Africa (I looked it up on Wikipedia, so that may or may not be true.) I’m sure the official response is that Africa lacks the infrastructure and financial means to host the games, but you know what the real answer is: Because they’re Black.

Russia built their buildings with spit and construction paper, and apparently the Zika virus is going to jumpstart the zombie apocalypse by Labor Day, so don’t call these Olympics “ghetto.” If they are going to refer to these Olympic games as “ghetto” I would like to offer a few suggestions to the International Olympic Committee on sports that we should institute into the games:

Slapboxing I’ve never understood why Boxing, Tae Kwon Do and Judo were Olympic Sports, but not slapboxing. If we are looking for a combat sport that doesn’t have the additional hazard of head trauma, why not include the sport practiced by Black men since 1802, when Jebediah Jenkins upset Ezekiel Jones to win the Hawthorne Plantation’s slapboxing championship? Since then, slapboxing has emerged as the number one sport of older brothers and street corner hustlers. It is time for it to come to the mainstream.

Shouting: If ballroom dancing, ice dancing and rhythmic gymnastics are all Olympic sports, then why not shouting? It would be one of the cheapest sports to add because all you need is a church organ, a drummer and a shouting area (tambourine optional). I tried to get this sport added a few years ago, but they presented a very valid question about the spectators:

What if everybody in the stands starts getting the Holy Ghost?

I tried to tell them that we just needed to recruit some of the best Black church ushers from around the country, but they wouldn’t entertain my suggestions.

Synchronized Twerking I knew the Olympics were anti-Black ever since 2008 Olympics, when the synchronized swimming team from Atlanta failed to qualify after a rousing routine to the music of Jay-Z’s “Big Pimpin.” If an underwater Cupid Shuffle didn’t impress the judges, then we clearly need a separate sport. While most people will bet on the Magic City team from Atlanta, my money is on the Miami squad. It might get a little uncomfortable when they “made it clap” and splash gobs of water into the crowd, but I bet the podium ceremony will be lit!

You know every year the twerk finals will be The US, Jamaica, the US Virgin Islands, The Bahamas, Uganda, South Africa, and yes, Russia. (One of those countries–I won’t say which one–will eventually have their medals revoked after they are caught using performance enhancing booty shots.)

Cutt’n Flips I believe the Olympics would have more black men on the gymnastics team if they didn’t have to wear star-spangled leggings. We would dominate the floor exercise, because every neighborhood has one guy who is better than Mary Lou Retton on steroids. My sister swore to me that the Hawkins Boys (my neighborhood’s thug gymnasts) once chased her down the street. She says she ran as fast as she could, but they kept up with her… only they were turning flips instead of running. I believe Robin. Those motherfuckers could flip.

Also, how are these guys not on the gymnastics team?

Whipping Dodging This might be the simplest and oldest of all sports. I don’t know how it wasn’t in the original games. Whipping dodging is simple. You need three things:

  1. A closed space (like the UFC octagon or a boxing rink) with obstacles
  2. A single player
  3. The player’s mother chasing them with a belt.

It is said that Kamisha “I ain’t gon’ do it no mo” Reynolds could elude her mother for hours without catching a lick. Her unofficial record was 2 hours twenty-three minutes and seven seconds. It might have been longer, but her mother died of a heart attack at the World Whipping Championships in 1997.

Spades Most people don’t know that spades was on the list to be considered an Olympic sport for the 1972 games but after Tommy Smith and John Carlos did the black power salute on the podium, organizers worried about the backlash of announcers calling a Black spades player a “reneger.” Plus some feared an international incident would occur if one of our Spades players started talking shit. The Russian Federation might get offended if a Spades player from St. Louis got cocky enough to lick the big Joker and stick it to his forehead, but they don’t know–you have to flex if you have the big Joker!

I think that’s in the official rule book.

Also there is one more suggestions that would make the games a lot better:

Gold Medal Winners Get To Choose a Song There is something about the Olympics that Black people can’t figure out: If it is as big a deal as they say it is, why don’t they have a DJ? I don’t care how much pageantry, pomp and circumstance we give the games, we all know that no event is really special unless they have a DJ.

I love America. I tear up almost every time I hear the national anthem, but if I won a gold medal, I’d have to insist that they play “Juicy” by Notorious B.I.G. right after they finished blasting the “Star Spangled Banner” over the speakers. I’d keep my hand over my heart the entire time, too. I’d stand stoic as the band went from …and the hooooome of the brave!” right into “It was all a dream! I used to read Word Up magazine!” Hey You choose your song, I got mine. It’s not just the lyrics. It is the defiant opening where Biggie reminds all his naysayers and doubters by beginning the song with “fuck all you hoes…”

Good luck Olympians, and watch out for that Holy Ghost.

Honorable Mentions:

Tap-out 21
Pitching Pennies



About the author

Michael Harriot is a renowned spoken word poet, the host of The Black One podcast and the editor-in-chief of NegusWhoRead. He is perpetually just getting warmed up because he has no chill. He is on Instagram and twitter as @michaelharriot

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