Much has been made about the decline of African Americans playing major-league baseball, which annually honors Jackie Robinson, who broke baseball’s color barrier in 1947. The percentage of African Americans in the major leagues has dwindled from 19 percent in 1986 to 8.2 percent this season, far lower than the 76 percent of NBA players and 66 percent of NFL players who are African American.
The percentage is even lower in college baseball. Only 2.6 percent of NCAA Division I baseball players were African American in a 2011-12 survey by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports, down from 6.9 percent in 2002. The same report noted that 57.2 percent of basketball players and 43.2 percent of football players in Division I were African American in 2011-12.
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