The 20 Most Racist Sports Statements of the Past 25 Years Image via Getty Images/Gallo Images

Gold Medal-Winning Sprinter Thanks His Slave Ancestors for His Speed

Date: 6/30/2012
Quote
: "All my life I believed I became an athlete through my own determination, but it's impossible to think that being descended from slaves hasn't left an imprint through the generations. Difficult as it was to hear, slavery has benefited descendants like me—I believe there is a superior athletic gene in us."
Who said it: Michael Johnson

Being a black man doesn't make you exempt from making a racist statement against your own ethnicity, and there's really no better proof of that than former Olympic track star, Michael Johnson. It's clear that Johnson was trying to approach the situation delicately, but his point still fell on deaf ears. There's never a good reason to be thanking slavery for anything, even if you think it helped you win you a gold medal, and arguments that say otherwise are completely unfounded. Don't discount your own hard work with dubious scientific arguments like this, Michael. You're just making yourself look bad. 

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