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Michael Johnson

Descendants of SLAVES

Are Better Athletes

7/5/2012 6:06 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0704_michael_johnson_gettyU.S. Olympic legend Michael Johnson believes hard work only accounted for some of his record-breaking athleticism ... the rest can be chalked up to the fact that his ancestors were slaves.

Johnson -- one of the greatest Olympic sprinters of all time -- was talking to Sally Beck of the Daily Mail -- when he was asked about his world class athletic talent.

Johnson explained, "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."

He added, "Difficult as it was to hear, slavery has benefited descendants like me -- I believe there is a superior athletic gene in us."

"Over the last few years, athletes of Afro-Caribbean and Afro-American descent have dominated athletics finals. It's a fact that hasn't been discussed openly before. It's a taboo subject in the States but it is what it is. Why shouldn't we discuss it?"

In 1999, Johnson set the world record in the 400 meter dash at 43.18 seconds. He still holds the title.



So .... then what's Michael Phelps' excuse?

For more sports stories, check out tmzsports.com!
247 COMMENTS

No Avatar
91.

piratesrule8    

Being black probably has something to do with it but I doubt a slaves DNA changes and anythign gets passed onto the next generation at a genetic level. There are probably plenty of black athletes that have no history of slavery in the generations of their families and they too seem superior in track and field sports.

652 days ago
92.

John Talley    

It is true what he says and it's not at all racist. During the slavery period a lot of the weaker people died due to the terrible conditions they were put through. Only the strong survived...after decades of this you are left with strong healthy people breeding other strong healthy people. This results in children being born with the best genes possible.

652 days ago
93.

Liz    

Didn't Jimmy the Greek lose his job years ago for basically making the same comment ?

652 days ago
94.

Metta Worldhate    

I believe this is true. But, not because they were slaves. Because the horrible conditions they went thru to bring them to America caused about half of them to die, so only the strong gene pool survived. It forced them into "Survival of the Fittest" long after society had caused this to stop. If you took white people and made them work until only the strongest survived and the weakest died and them bred them for years, you'd see the same thing.

This isn't racism, it's reality.

652 days ago
95.

Lake    

First part of the story is wrong, says "his descendants" were slaves. Uh, er.....he doesn't have any descendants. He has progenitors and ancestors, but not descendants.

652 days ago
96.

kaden409    

my neighbor's step-sister makes $66 hourly on the internet. She has been laid off for five months but last month her check was $13517 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this site www.LazyCash32.com

652 days ago
97.

deedle    

and if one of us said this oh man oh man.... f^&king stupid and I'm thinking of suing!! He IS keeping me traumatized bringing it all up again and again !!!

652 days ago
98.

Metta Worldhate    

So does this mean that they can stop b*tching now? None of us were ever alive back then and had nothing to do with it and the only effect of it is that they're more athletic. So get over it.

652 days ago
99.

Denver    

Proof TMZ doesnt read these comments, and dont know the difference between ancestor and descendant. Getting back on point, hopefully Jimmy the Greek's family will take solace that their ancestor, now deceased, should be exonerated for his views if Mr Johnson is taken seriously.

652 days ago
100.

serena412    

my co-worker's step-mother brought home $19324 past week. she works on the laptop and got a $414100 home. All she did was get lucky and put in action the clues laid out on this web page Lazypay10.com

652 days ago
101.

Lipstick    

Ok, based on human biology and basic genetics, he is so wrong. There is no gene on the 23 chromosomes that can determine someone's athletic abilities. Johnson's comment is not based on biological facts and perhaps he needs to educate himself and get the facts. Johnson is falling into that trap of accepting ignoramus information as truth. Also,there is a sociocultural issue of access and socially based opportunities. Based on opportunities, economic options, one will be attracted to sports that are accessible and economically accessible to them. I concur, that there was segregated sports opportunities for Black (even Jessie Owens encounters bias and segregation in his sport) as well as other sport were segregated of did not allow Blacks to participate hence: The Negro Leagues came into play to offer separate but unequal opportunities.

652 days ago
102.

Truth    

JIMMY "THE GREEK" SNYDER COMMENTS THAT GOT HIM FIRED. #TRUTH!!
.
http://youtu.be/xKtIqXMpHcY

652 days ago
103.

Truth    

MICHAEL JOHNSON IN HIS PRIME RUNNING YRS WAS 6FT 1" AND 170 LBS. HARDLY THE "BIGGEST AND STRONGEST" SLAVE THEORY YALL SUPPORTING. IN FACT LOOK AT CURRENT INDIGENOUS HUNTER GATHERER SOCIETIES IN AFRICA TODAY. ALL THE SPEEDSTER HUNTERS ARE SMALL NOT HUGE. THEY HAVE THE SPEED AND STEALTH. HENCE, IF JOHNSON WANTS TO MAKE TIES TO DESCENDANTS THIS IS WHERE HIS TRAITS COME FROM. #TRUTH!!

652 days ago
104.

Level34    

WOW, this really leaves the door open for soooooooooooo many comments/jokes... :):):)

652 days ago
105.

myopinion    

I totally agree Blacks are GREAT athletes.

651 days ago
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