Not Enough Mules? Lack Of Diversity In Horse Racing A Problem For Some

There is a lot of excitement in the horse racing world at the moment. The Belmont Stakes, the last leg of the Triple Crown, will be held on Saturday, but some people think that a lack of diversity is detrimental to the sport.

There is a lot of excitement in the horse racing world at the moment. The Belmont Stakes, the last leg of the Triple Crown, will be held on Saturday, but some people think that a lack of diversity is detrimental to the sport.

Jerry Dixon Jr., who is the groom for 2022 Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike, said he is disappointed by the lack of black people in various rolls throughout the sport.

“I was looking at something about the Derby and I saw how there were Blacks in the beginning,” Dixon said. Dixon is a fourth-generation horseman who works with his father — trainer Jerry Sr. — for Eric Reed, who trains Rich Strike.

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“And then years afterward, you can see the change, like we were slowly fading away.”

As is always the case, simply saying that a lack of any demographic in a sport is an oversimplified observation of a situation that is likely far more complex. This case is no different.

Jim Crow-era laws definitely played a large part in preventing black people from being involved in the sport, but that isn’t the only contributing factor. The lifestyle, poor economic outlook, and grueling demands of the sport make it unappealing to a lot of people, with several horse racing employees admitting that “horse racing is not for everybody.”

Plus, the element of free choice is at play here. There are different interests that people in this demographic have, and if sports like basketball, football, and baseball have a better life outlook and enjoyability factor, why not choose those?

While there are some organizations that are trying to give more black people opportunities to get involved in the sport – like Living The Dream Stables and the Ed Brown Society – it is irresponsible to say that the sport isn’t doing enough to involve black people. As is always the case, there is usually more than meets the eye.

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