The Quick Scan by Mike Ramey



      A few years back, it was revealed that for every one million students who played basketball, maybe two would have the talent to turn pro.  This was roughly the same ratio for those who wanted to play professional football.  This simply means that for the rest of the young men involved in athletics, they would need to have a realistic ‘back up’ plan for success after their high school and college sports days were behind them.

      Over the years, we would hope that many of those involved in working with young men in our various urban areas would realize that there are more lasting vocations other than sports.  Sadly, we still have too many older men who have perpetuated the lie that the only ‘successful’ young man—especially a young Black man—must give their all to get into professional sports—even to the point of making an idol out of it.

      It disturbs me to report that there are youth organizations that I am aware of that have made it public that they want to ‘partner up’ with the NFL, the NBA, or some other professional sports organization.  Of course, the obvious reason why they want to ‘partner up’ is because of the deep pockets that these organizations represent—monies which they take in from the public.  After all, ‘partnering up’ with a highly visible outfit like the NFL would do wonders for the bottom line of such groups (not to mention raising their public profiles).

      Today’s modern athlete—even at the college level—is hardly a worthy role model for young Black men.  How can we steer our Black youth away from criminal and ungodly lifestyles that have proven themselves as the ‘lubricant’ for the prison express railroad when some Black athletes encourage violent and crime-ridden lifestyles?  Add to the quagmire the fact that it has been held to be OK for college athletes to ‘cash in’ on their contribution to their sport in the present…a big change from the days past when the NCAA was the only one allowed to profit from the labor of college athletes.

      I’ll dare say that some of those involved in leading some youth organizations did not do much in the way of furthering their educations and think that they can ‘muddy the mental waters’ of the young men in their charge to focus ONLY on sports.  In the Black community of tomorrow, we’ll need more tech people, carpenters, doctors, and other more stable careers.  Athletics is a very narrow employment field with a limited shelf life.  It’s time we realize there are better ways to success for more of our young men, and there needs to be more emphasis put on non-athletic careers.  I’m not anti-sports.  However, I am against puttting forth sports as the ‘only way’ for our young men to advance and achieve in society in the present—and the future.

      Mike Ramey is a Retired Minister, KJV Bible Teacher, syndicated columnist and Bible Prophecy Specialist who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.  “The Quick Scan” is one of a variety of his columns appearing and abounding in print and cyberspace, written from a biblical, business, and common-sense perspective since 1996.  To drop him a line—or a whine—the address is still the same:  ©2024 Barnstorm Communications International.

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Rev. M. G. “Mike” Ramey (Retired) served as the Certified Modern Street Gangs Specialist & Media Consultant of “The Gang Line”. He had been interviewed in the U. S. and abroad on radio, television, and Internet about the dangers of Modern Street Gangs since 2007. His writings on Modern Street Gangs abound in print and online. Previously, he served as an award-winning broadcast journalist, producer, and TV/Radio talk show host. He has also served as a staff writer, section editor, and syndicated columnist. Ramey has won—or helped to win—some two dozen journalism awards and citations. He also holds a Police Citation for Citizen Bravery from the Indianapolis Police Department (1986). Ramey is also married, an Ordained Minister (Retired) and a KJV Bible Teacher.

Ramey is a Certified Modern Street Gangs Specialist with Certifications in Law Enforcement (2006), Non-Law Enforcement (2010), and Gangs & Cults Ministry (2017). He also has endorsements in K-12 Gang Issues and Transnational Gangs. He also carries Specialist Ratings in Cult/Occult Crime, and Transnational Human Trafficking. Ramey has also served with several International anti-gang ministries, including of Washington state (2004-2009), Thug Exposed Ministries of California (2010 to 2015) and Bishop Outreach Ministries of Florida (2010 to 2015).

In 2011 “The Gang Line” offered training and certification coursework for those interested in becoming certified Modern Street Gang Specialists: Training approaches the anti-gang ministry field through the combined use of spiritual (biblical principles/discipleship) and criminal (gang members and gang crime). From 2015-2017, Ramey served as an Advisory Board Member for the School of Criminal Justice at Harrison College, Indianapolis, Indiana, with a specialty of Organized Crime & Gangs. From 2017-2019, Ramey served as a Bible Teacher to at-risk detained juvenile offenders at the Marion County Juvenile Detention Center with his own Bible-based Curriculum centering upon Biblical Life Skills taught from the Book of Proverbs.

Rev. Ramey’s skill set includes having been a veteran substitute teacher (Secondary Education), a college instructor for two Bible colleges in the Indianapolis, Indiana area, a Probation Officer (Intensive/High Risk & School-Based) with the Marion County Juvenile Court, and a peer grant reviewer of anti-gang grant programs with the U.S. Department of Justice (2010). He also created, designed, and taught the course “Modern Street Gangs: Developing Urban Ministry Strategies—UM-190” at Crossroads Bible College, Indianapolis, Indiana (2009 & 2010). In 2013, Ramey served as a post-production Consultant for Chick Publications’ national anti-gang comic: “Black Angel”. It was translated into Spanish in 2014.

Ramey has written extensively on the topic of Modern Street Gangs with two Internet columns: “The Gang Line” and “The Gang Line Blogger” which abound in cyberspace. In a post-pandemic society, the motto of The Gang Line still rings true: “Spiritual Solutions for Spiritual Problems!”

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