adj. (疾病)变性的 /dɪ'dʒenərətɪv/
adj. 斗剑者的,争论的 /ˌɡlædiə'tɔːriəl/
v. 用力投掷 /hɜːl/
n. 精算师,公证人 /'æktʃuəri/
adj. 非常小的 /'mɪnəskjuːl/
n. 脑震荡, 震动 /kən'kʌʃn/
Winners and losers: American football’s racial divide
（783 words） By Rana Foroohar ----------------------------------------------------- The weather gods in New York can’t decide whether it should be winter or spring but my 11-year-old son is already dreaming of the playing fields of Prospect Park, near our home in Brooklyn, where he’ll soon begin outdoor sports practice. When he does, we will be confronted with a startling racial divide — hordes of mostly white kids like him playing soccer, and a much smaller group of others, mostly African-American, playing American football. By football, I mean tackle football — not touch football, its kinder, gentler cousin. Touch involves minimal contact. Tackle is the kind played with helmets and pads. It is also the type that has become the topic of major controversy in the US after years of increasing evidence that the head trauma, which is part and parcel of it, can cause chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease that has resulted in the tragic — and often horrific — deaths of many professional football players. Several of those affected became so disturbed following repeated head injuries that they killed themselves. The NFL, which took years to recognise the problem, set up a $765m fund in 2013 to compensate the growing number of players with CTE and their families (in the 2015 movie Concussion, Will Smith plays a doctor trying to highlight the issue of brain damage in the sport). While African-American men make up only 6 per cent of the US population, they represent nearly 70 per cent of NFL players. Meanwhile, 75 per cent of the head coaches are white, as are the owners of 30 out of 32 teams. The same dynamics hold in college football and basketball, in which historian Taylor Branch once detected “an unmistakable whiff of the plantation”. In short, a group of predominantly African-American students fuel a multibillion-dollar industry without getting a dime of that money themselves, aside from scholarships (higher in football than in safer sports). All of this is something I couldn’t help but think about as I watched this year’s Super Bowl. American football is, in its way, beautiful. Enormous men don’t just bash into each other; they also leap and spin and run with the grace of dancers. And yet, as I watched, I was reminded of the tiny helmets I’d seen on the children in the park. According to the NFL’s own actuaries, some 28 per cent of professional players will suffer brain trauma, including but not limited to CTE. It’s true that the powers that be within the sport have pushed various rule changes to make the game safer. Yet these children are still playing a sport that could, quite literally, lead them to an early grave. People have many different theories about why this is. Talking about any of them guarantees you’ll upset someone. Some research shows that when it comes to sport, money may be a factor in diversity issues. Academic studies have shown that soccer players, as opposed to American football or basketball players, tend to come from communities that have higher income, education and employment, perhaps, in part, because the sport is still run in the US on a mainly “pay to play” basis, rather than something done for free in schools. There are others, such as New York Times-best-selling author Mychal Denzel Smith, who believe that black families may see the possibility of upward mobility via sport as worth the risk of injury, particularly in a world in which their economic odds are so poor. But of course the risk isn’t worth it. The numbers of people who make it to the pros are minuscule. And the backlash around head trauma means that the game itself may not exist — at least in the form it does now — within a few years. American football is still far and away the most popular youth sport in the country, played at a high-school level by more boys — of all races — than any other. But numbers have fallen over the past few years as many parents pull their children out. It’s interesting that of all those playing now aged six or older, the participation rate for African-Americans is double that for whites. The reverse is true in safer sports, such as soccer or baseball. Sport should be a unifier. Yet in the US, as with so many things, it illuminates our socio-economic divides. A recent report shows that athletic participation for kids aged six to 12 is down 8 per cent in the past decade, thanks to rising costs and declining public funding. Children from low-income households are half as likely to play one day’s worth of any team sport than those from households earning at least $100,000. Childhood obesity is an even bigger health concern than concussions. That’s yet another class and race issue we can see when we step outside our front doors.
Why does tackle football become controversial in recent years ?
The link between tackle football and traumatic brain injury continues to strengthen.
The NFL tried to intimidate scientists studying deaths of professional football players.
Neurologists tried to highlight the issue of brain damage in the movie
New studies found evidence that chronic traumatic encephalopathy could lead to death.
Why does Taylor Branch mention the plantation in the fourth paragraph ?
To explain why clear racial differences emerge in American football.
To indicate the football industry is fueled by African-American students.
To raise awareness of the health risks for African-American athletes.
To emphasise the racial issues in the football industry in America.
Which of the following statements about American football is true?
The NFL has been reluctant to push various rule changes to make football game safer.
Soccer players in the US tend to come from richer communities than American football players.
Around 28 per cent of professional players will suffer chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
African-American students often get lower scholarships than students from other backgrounds.
According to Mychal Denzel Smith, what causes the diversity issues in American football?
Mychal Denzel Smith认为，黑人家庭看到了通过从事体育来提升社会阶层的希望，并认为值得为此冒着受伤的风险。
The health concerns associated with childhood obesity.
The possibility of entering prominent universities via sport.
The chance of upward mobility via sport for black families.
The generous scholarships offered to football athletes.
© The Financial Times Ltd 2018
and 'Financial Times' are trademarks of The Financial Times Ltd.
2. 不要把一个个单词分开看，要学会整体把握一个语义群。比如“an emergency $180bn injection of dollar”是一个语义群，应该整体地去理解它
3. 在看英文影视剧的时候，切换到英文字幕。4. 保持这份认真的态度，坚持英语学习，你将会获得很大的提高。
2. 加强对英文的数字写法，尤其是大数量的数字(million, billion)的识别与中英文转换的练习。