The Newnan Times-Herald

Opinion

Truth season


  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Aug. 25, 2019 - 3:40 AM

Truth season

The Newnan Times-Herald

College football season has finally arrived, and I’m pumped. 

After a long, hot summer, nothing lifts your spirits like meeting a fan of your archrival the day after the game and bragging about the beatdown your team just laid on them. 

Better yet, college football drives a stake through the myth that “Our diversity makes us stronger.”

College football is proof that when results matter, diversity doesn’t. Great teams may be the most diverse group of athletes on earth, but the coaches, players, and trainers aren’t hired because of their skin color or sensitivity skills. They are chosen because their contributions make the team better equipped to win. 

The majority of NBA players are African-American. Not because the NBA has a great diversity program. Because the best players get the jobs. 

If you can play, the NBA embraces you. Even if you’re a European import like Slovenian Luca Doncic, Serbian Nikola Jokic, and German native Dirk Nowitzki. Those players weren't chosen to meet a diversity quota. They were hired to win.

Endeavors where diversity doesn't count are not confined to sports. 

Nobody believes the Boston Symphony would sound better with an Asian oboist or a puny Polynesian percussionist if those weren’t the best players available. The world’s first-rate orchestras demand the most talented group of musicians, not the most diverse. 

When the members of the Rolling Stones decided to form a band, their hiring checklist didn't include boxes for gender, color or cultural sensitivity. They wanted guys who knew how to rock, no matter the flavor.

I’m still waiting for somebody to complain about Led Zeppelin’s lack of racial diversity. 

Music videos hadn't been invented when I was a teenager, and I got most of my music from an AM radio. The first time I heard the Temptations sing ”My Girl,” I didn't know – or care – what color they were. I just knew I liked the music. 

If I had found out later they had an Osmond brother singing backup, that would have suited me fine.

Earth, Wind & Fire didn't create musical magic by holding out for a Tunisian tambourine player. They hired people who could blow horns like Gabriel, pick guitars like angry demons and sing like angels. 

By the way, Gladys Knight didn't have any white Pips singing backup. Nobody cared. 

Workplace diversity might deliver a bouquet of fresh perspectives, but if the goal is excellence, competence is all that really counts.

Hospitals advertise their corporate commitment to diversity, but if I'm having brain surgery I want my surgical team to be the most competent, not the most diverse.

If I ever board an airplane and hear a flight attendant bragging on the diversity of the cockpit crew instead of its experience, competence and ability to land safely when things go wrong, I’m getting off.

Academia is the incubator for the diversity myth. The website of the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States boasts that “Harvard recognizes the great and growing importance of appointing faculty who bring diverse perspectives and background knowledge to the academic enterprise.” 

Whatever happened to hiring “the brightest and best?”

So far, college football has managed to escape the diversity trap. But don’t be surprised if a few years from now, schools like Harvard get extra credit in the national rankings because of their teams’ average IQ test scores. 

Don’t fret. That just means they’ll all be able to spell “loser” correctly.

Let’s kick it off.

Alex McRae is the author of “There Ain’t No Gentle Cycle on the Washing Machine of Love.” He can be reached at: alexmmcrae@gmail.com .