A Platform for Change

by DGermain01 on October 21, 2016 - 9:48pm

Racism in sports has been an issue since media and sports have been introduced to each other. Especially in the 50s, 60s, and 70s it was very hard for minorities to play with ``whites``. Now a days we see minorities all over professional sports, but it seems there is still a problem with racism.
I read an article ``Racism Still Evident in Sports World`` by Richard Lapchick on ESPN. The article was published at the end of 2014 and recaps racism in sports in that year. For those who don’t remember that was the year of the Michael Brown and Eric Garner shootings. It seems that since that time we have been hearing about shootings of minorities every week. One part in the article made me really think, about how athletes have started using their platform to try and stop racism. I feel this is a positive step forward for society.
That specific part in the article made me think of something I had seen on social media. We have recently seen NFL players taking a knee or locking arms during the national anthem. We have heard Colin Kaepernick say he will not stand for an anthem or flag that doesn’t represent what it should represent, freedom and equality for all. This shows me that players are beginning to understand the platform they are given and are starting to use it to create social change.
Another part of the article made me think, one where ``black`` athletes are stereotyped very often in sports. We talked about this in class recently and how this is a form of new racism. Very subtle and not easy to spot. Also some people may not see stereotyping as racist because it has become socially acceptable to make these remarks about people that are different than you and pass it off as a joke.
I very much enjoyed reading the article by Lapchick because this is a very important issue right now in our society and I think that these superstar athletes need to use the stage they are given to create change. We have seen an increasing amount of lives perish in the streets for no reason these past couple of years, and change is needed now, and athletes may be the ones able to bring it upon the world.

Lapchick, R. (Dec 30, 2014). Racism Still Evident in Sports World. ESPN. Retrieved from http://www.espn.com/espn/story/_/id/12093538/the-year-racism-sport

Comments

Hi DGermain01,

Your post is interesting but I do not agree with your opinion. Although there may be some racism in sports, times have changed from Muhammed Ali’s 1960s, I believe today’s sports has more of an issue with gender. It is observed that sports and masculinity go hand in hand and professional sports serve as protection of the hegemonic masculinity which promotes male dominance. We can compare how male and female sport bodies, where they exist, are built to succeed. But where are the women athletes in sports? In fact, women are given less training facilities and weaker coaching guidance. For example, in 2014, women’s College hockey, had 29 Division-I teams while the men had a substantial more with 44 Division-I teams. Another example is bobsleigh. Men have been competing in the four-man bobsleigh since the 1924 Winter Olympics, whereas two-woman bobsleigh only entered the Olympics in 2002. Despite it being a popular sport with women, they have yet to be granted permission to participate in the four-(wo)man event. Simply put, women are given less opportunity to perform, which then also translates directly to being paid less in the sport that they do and therefore, there is a major issue with gender in sports.

You can read more on hegemonic masculinity with this link:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hegemonic_masculinity

Sources
http://www.bbc.com/sport/golf/29242699
http://www.shmoop.com/ncaa/hockey/mens-vs-womens.html

I am not disagreeing with what you wrote, but this post is about racism. If you want to comment then write about what I did write. Yes gender inequality is a major issue in sports today, maybe even more than racism in some people's opinions, but that is not what the assignment was, I am in a racism class not a gender class.

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