Although I suspect I’m laboring in obscurity here, I have figured out the mystery of the non-swimming black culture. There are three reasons, and they feed each other.
1. Non-swimming adults
If you don’t swim, you don’t get what the big deal is with swimming. You don’t make it a priority. If you hear about the disproportionate drowning rate among your people, and you’re a non-swimmer, you figure you’ll fix that by staying away from the water. Which brings me to. . .
If you don’t swim, and therefore stay away from the water, then you’re going to want to keep your kids away from the water too, to keep them safe. No matter that you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a swim instructor, some of them giving away the lessons for free. No, you want to keep your kids away from the water to keep them safe.
3. Lack of role models
Here’s where Cullen is working his butt off. I thought, well, he’s alone, and we need so many more swimmers. But Tiger Woods didn’t need a legion of black golfers to interest black folks in golf; neither did Venus and Serena need a bus-load of dark tennis players. So Cullen would be sufficient. . . if he swam the number of events Michael Phelps swims. It’s a little harder when he’s duking it out with Nathan Adrian, Matt Grevers, et. al. for fastest sprinter. Maybe his son will be the superstar swimmer we need to put all black eyes on swimming.
What do you think? Is this list long enough? Any suggestions?