I've included my rough estimate of their race (e.g., baseball player Johnny Damon is 50% white, 50% East Asian). Overall, I come out with 39% white, 50% black, 7% East Asian, and the rest split between South Asian (golfer Vijay Singh) and New World Indian (part of each of the top two, Tiger Woods and Oscar de la Hoya).
For black, I followed local thinking: I counted all the African-Americans as 100% black unless I knew they had one white parent (Derek Jeter and Jason Kidd). For the Latin Americans, I guesstimated background from their looks (e.g., Alex Rodriguez as half white, half black). So, on a purely racial basis, it would be more like whites 42%, blacks 48%. So, it looks like about what you'd expect: whites and blacks are pretty evenly matched in numbers of world-class athletes, with everybody else trailing.
The NBA dominates the salary rankings, presumably because the teams are smaller with only 12 players versus 25 in baseball and 45(?) in football. Also, I suspect that the pyramid of talent is steeper in the NBA just because there are so very few men who are extremely good athletes and extremely tall. Thus, because the supply of agile giants is so limited, NBA players can get bigger contracts than say NFL running backs, who don't have to be any particular height.
Among the 50 American citizens on SI's list, endorsements add up to $387 million, with Tiger's $100 million accounting for over a quarter of that. I estimated share of endorsement by race, with whites garnering 37%, blacks 41%, East Asians 18%, and American Indians 3%, but these proportions are heavily influenced by how you break up Tiger's $100 million. I'm doing it genealogically, with 12.5% of his endorsements going to the white category, 25% to black, 50% to East Asian, and 12.5% to American Indian. Taking Tiger out, the endorsement split would be whites 46%, blacks 47%, East Asians (Michelle Wie and half of Johnny Damon) 7%. So, by race, the endorsements are pretty similar to the total earnings, with whites and blacks pretty closely matched.
The popular golfers dominate the endorsement rankings, with the three golfers ranking 1, 2, and 5 in endorsements among Americans. Golf's an expensive game to play, plus golfers are a safe bet for endorsers. It's a game that demands self-control and good character (following accusations of cheating a couple of decades ago, the young Singh was banished for awhile to Borneo!), so if you hire a golfer to be the face of your product, you can be reasonably sure he won't be arrested for hanging his insufficiently vicious pit bulls.
You'll notice there isn't anybody from the Ultimate Fighting Championship or other "mixed martial arts" on the top 70 list. The UFC is making a lot of money on pay-per-views right now, but I guess not much must be going to the fighters -- judging from what the UFC reports to the Nevada authorities on what they are paying their fighters, it's pretty paltry. It's hard to imagine that the UFC can get many world class athletes for what they are paying. If you were the next Vince Young or Sidney Crosby, would you focus on training for the UFC or for a real sport that pays real money?
|2||Oscar De La Hoya||Box||$55,000,000||53,000,000||2,000,000||Mestizo|
|15||Yao Ming||NBA||$27,455,000||E Asian|
|16||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||NASCAR||$27,111,735||7,111,735||20,000,000||W|
|32||Floyd Mayweather Jr.||Box||$20,250,000||20,000,000||250,000||Af-Am|
|33||Michelle Wie||Golf||$20,235,224||735,224||19,500,000||E Asian|
|38||Hideki Matsui||MLB||$19,000,000||E Asian|
|55||Vijay Singh||Golf||$16,411,026||S Asian|
|59||Alessandro Del Piero||Soc||$15,700,000||W|