Olympian Cullen Jones Offering Swim Lessons to Fight Stereotype That ‘Black People Don’t Swim’

Olympian Cullen Jones Offering Swim Lessons to Fight Stereotype That ‘Black People Don’t Swim’

Olympic athlete Cullen Jones is educating kids of shade how to swim as a means to finish the stereotype that “Black folks don’t swim” and to promote protected swimming practices, he advised ABC’s Good Morning America on Wednesday.

Cullen stated that worry is the primary motive why Black kids don’t know the way to swim.

“Palms down, worry is the primary motive, whether or not it’s kids, whether or not it’s mother and father,” he advised GMA. “Concern is the primary downside.”

The four-time Olympian and gold medal winner recounted a time the place he virtually drowned at an amusement park when he was a toddler

“I shot out of this experience, and flipped the wrong way up on the interior tube, and was making an attempt to pull myself up,” he stated. “Not solely didn’t I’ve the energy, I didn’t have swim classes so I didn’t know what to do at that time.”

After spending 30 seconds underwater, he was rescued by a lifeguard, however the expertise was sufficient for his mom to enroll him in swimming classes.

“What they are saying is {that a} baby can have mind harm after being underwater for that lengthy,” he stated. “My mother stated, ‘By no means once more. We’re getting you swimming classes.’”

African-American youngsters between the ages of 5 to 14 fatally drowned at a price that was virtually thrice as excessive as White kids in the identical age group between 2005 and 2009, in accordance to knowledge from the Facilities for Illness Management obtained by ABC Information.

Racism at public swimming pools has additionally contributed to protecting Black folks out of the water, in accordance to Jones and Dennis Parker, director of the racial justice program for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

“Swimming pools have been an area that could be very racialized,” Parker advised GMA. “There was a historical past of exclusion for folks of shade… Black swimmers have been bodily attacked by white swimmers in these swimming pools.”

Try video of Jones’ interview with GMA under.

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