Sports / February 28, 2008

An apology

In the previous issue of The Knox Student, I wrote a piece for a sports column entitled, “Racism? Nah, just some truth.” This column contained within it several passages speaking on the evolution of African-Americans as superior athletes because of the actions taken when they were in bondage in America, as well as in other lands around the world. The ideas I ran with for the article, which included incorrect ideas involving evolution working on a level that is not possible, as well as ideas of Social Darwinism that are now understood to be wrong, were the basis of the column. By not doing any responsible research I did irreparable harm to my argument, and more importantly, the credibility of our publication by damaging the trust that exists with our readers.

In attempting to put into publication conversations I have had with others about African-Americans dominating sports, I tried to use examples taken from around the world. Unfortunately, the sources I chose were based on inherently bad science, and for that I am sorry. My role as a columnist, especially in this case, is to use true statements in order to foster debate. I did not do this in my column, and as a result, the discussion that grew out of it was unhealthy and damaging to a number of individuals. An argument that has its basis in ignorance and flippant remarks is fundamentally wrong, no matter what position you take on it, and that is what I did. I did not mean to take such an informal tone in what I wrote. My choice in placing personal style over responsible approach was a gross misjudgment on my part, and for that I sincerely apologize.

I was lazy in my communication, and irresponsible for writing what I did in the manner in which it was written. This was definitely a subject that needed more than some 45 minutes of work before writing it. I am not looking for what I wrote to be excused, only that you understand that I now understand the errors of my ways. It is unfortunate it took this instance in order for me to realize the nature of my misinformation, but I feel the first step towards correcting this incident is the recognition of my inadequacies. While this understandably cannot be achieved in a week’s time, I am motivated to right this wrong and prevent future instances by educating myself on the matter. It was ignorant, and next time I approach something like this, I promise to give it the proper amount of service and time. Thank you.

Merritt Rohlfing

Merritt Rohlfing

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