Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Breaking the Color Barrier with Bubba...a well kept secret

Here’s a fantastic story I viewed on ESPN awhile back about an amazing athlete most of us old fogies have never heard. One of the contributors on the program asked his colleagues a very usual question (at least among most sports fanatics). Who is the most dominant athlete in his or her sport? The usual suspects were voiced: Kobe, Tiger, Brady, Manny! Notice this list is a host of one named heroes. Would it surprise you to hear ‘Bubba’ as the answer? I sure as heck was…

James ‘Bubba’ Stewart is a living legend in motor cross racing…and he’s an African-American. James Jr. comes from very humble beginnings. Growing up in Florida, his parents were of meager means to say the least. Yet his father introduced him to the sport the day he was brought home from the hospital. James Sr. says he road around on his sports cycle, one hand on the handle bars the other on his newborn son (how did he pull that off!?). ‘Bubba’ began his amateur racing at the tender age of 4 years old and went on to dominate the previously all white sport. Turning pro in 2002 he quickly rose to become the face of Motor Cross Racing. In 2008, he won every race that season in the outdoor Nationals for a perfect season!

As I am listening to this remarkable story I was thinking of the terrible obstacles Bubba and his father must have gone through. How in the heck did his dad afford the bikes or entry fees during the beginning? With no other African-Americans anywhere how did he feel empowered? The normal comparison is to Tiger Woods. However unbelievable Tiger’s rise to power was, there still were other African-Americans who have paved the way (John Shippen and Lee Elder to name a few). This can not be said of James Stewart Jr.


The Stewarts did indeed face a more than fair amount of racial confrontations. The elder Stewart from one of his accounts said he was once told by an official “We don’t race ‘N’ here!” James Sr. simply replied “That’s great because we came here to race motor bikes”. Bubba faced constant racial slurs while flying around the track but never once did it damper his desire to be the best in “HIS” sport.

The most dominant athlete in the world is a 26year old African-American, and his name is not Tiger….It’s Bubba. Now you too, know him…

Milano Flascucci~

Exercise: This is a simple concept. I want you to think about what obstacles you have in your life that hold you back from you greatness that lies within. Find the 4 year old boy or girl inside you that does not know the word (no’ or can’t)!

Now unleash them and dominate your “sport”

No excuses! “Excuses are tools for the incompetent; those who use them seldom accomplish anything”

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