“It’s just different and it’s not easy,” said David Robinson, who serves as the boys basketball coach at Davenport West. “Sometimes you go to these places and they don’t treat you the same. They just don’t treat you the same. You can feel the difference. … You can’t explain it, but you can feel it and can see it.
“I’ve learned to fight through adversity,” he added. “That’s what this world is, you have to fight through adversity. Unfortunately, I’ve got to fight harder than a normal person would.”
Jarrin Williams, the boys cross country coach at Rock Island, said people in the community are acutely aware of the shortage of Black head coaches.
“I’ve had parents talk to me about it, not in a bad way …,” he said. “I’ve never really had to think about it in that way, but it would be really cool if there were other (Black) coaches in the area.”
Jett said it would be more than just cool. She said it’s a necessity for Black and multi-racial athletes to get the most out of the educational experience.
“As a coach and former athlete, I think it’s imperative that we have representation (among the coaches) of what your athletes look like,” she said.
“A lot of these teams have a lot of minority athletes but we don’t have anybody that looks like them. I think it’s important that we do have representation so kids can relate to their coaches because part of that is building relationships and understanding cultures and where kids are coming from.”
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