As millions watched the Winter Olympic Games over the weekend, many  were taken aback when the Jamaican bobsled team took front-and-center sporting helmets with watermelon motifs painted on them. The controversial and insensitive move left many, particularly African-Americans, scratching their heads in wonderment, according to TMZ.

The bobsled team of two, Winston Watts and Marvin Dixon, whose country’s major exports are sugar, bananas, coffee and rum, chose instead to not promote one of their main agricultural offerings but to tout a symbol at the Sochi Winter Games that strikes a negative chord for blacks on these shores.

winston watts marvin dixon watermelon helmets

The watermelon stereotype got its roots back during slavery times, when Blacks in this country were viewed as mindless creatures. Whites assumed that all slaves pined for was not freedom but just some shade and cool watermelon to eat. They believed Blacks were simpletons, with an unusual affinity for watermelon and so the fruit became a key symbol in the iconography of racism in the United States.

According to the Black sports duo, watermelon is not a “thing” in their homeland, so they had no hesitation about sporting the helmets.

Even though reportedly, Watts and Dixon are not destined to win a medal of any color, perhaps they felt they had to protect their melons with another melon!


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5 thoughts on “Why Jamaican Bobsled Team Wore Watermelon Helmets

  1. Kimberly Lucas on said:

    Thanks Stacy ! And truth be told Thanks, Ignorant want to be like Negro people. Watermelons are the best food for us, if we don’t eat anything else. I say learn to attack stupidity with knowledge and grace, as we were taught.

  2. Please understand that the rest of the world does not revolve around the U.S. If African-Americans don’t like watermelons, that’s fine and no one should force them to, based on it’s history here. But to think that another country cannot wear a watermelon symbol because it would offend blacks here is ludcrous! This article and that opinion is ridiculous! We should stop trying to regulate the rest of the world based on our beliefs. Instead, let’s talk about the confederate flag on license plates here. How offensive is that?!

    • Hey, thank you so much so giving this news and knowing the importance of watermelon helmets in the Jamaican bobsled team. Now, I know the fruit became a key symbol in the iconography of racism in the United States.

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