Racism 101: Inner City Sports Teams Get Nothing, But Suburban Schools Get Everything
As a product of Tulsa Public Schools (“TPS”), I was so proud of how Tulsa Edison competed last night even though they lost to defending large school Oklahoma State Champions Jenks 41-14. Especially since Edison was embarrassed last year 86-7 by Jenks.
However, as I watched the game, it became readily apparent that Edison was – like most inner-city schools nationwide — grossly “out gunned” by the suburban powerhouse, Jenks. For example, check out these startling comparisons between the two schools:
1. While Edison only has roughly 50 players, which requires that the vast majority of Edison’s starters must play offense, defense, and all special teams, Jenks has 100+ players with the vast majority of their starters playing one way;
2. While Edison has 7 coaches total, Jenks has 16 coaches, including an unheard-of -3 special teams coaches;
3. While Edison’s head coach makes the standard TPS coaching stipend of $6,006.00 and he is required to teach full-time as of 2009 Jenks legendary head coach, Allen Trimble, received a total compensation of 100k+ and he is not required to teach; and
4. While Edison has decent high school facilities, they share their home stadium with other Tulsa Public Schools. At the same time, Jenks has facilities and a stadium that would put some D1 colleges to shame, and even has a full-time Strength and Conditioning staff!
Overcrowded classrooms, crumbling schools, and low-income and crime infested neighborhoods, are just some of the many obstacles inner-city students must overcome to be successful. So, it’s just cruel for inner-city student-athletes to have their disadvantaged status “rubbed in their face” by being forced into “David v. Goliath” match-ups versus teams with vastly superior numbers, resources, and coaches.
To be clear, affluent suburban school districts, like Jenks, should be applauded for making the decision to give its student the very best money can buy. I just wish every student, regardless of zip code, had the very same opportunities, resources, and support to ensure their success.
Damario Solomon-Simmons, Esq., M.Ed., is the managing partner of SolomonSimmonsSharrock & Associates law firm and a football letter winner at the University of Oklahoma. He can be contacted on twitter @solospeakstruth or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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