Racism in Sports Essay

Category: Sports
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Not having racial equality in sports nowadays is becoming a really big problem. Not only is it tearing apart sports but it is also breaking up relationships around the world. This continues path or racial discrimination will only keep making the problem worse and worse as it goes along. It is time for a change in the world of athletics, where race, background, ethnicity, or the color of your skin no longer will determine treatment or benefit of the athletes.

According to the University of Central Florida there were fifty two acts of racism in 2018 in the United States and forty one in 2017 (Lapchick). The bad thing is that sports try to hide the fact that racism and unfair treatment is going on (Abdul-Jabar). Sometimes people forget that athletes of other races are people also and they should get the same respect as everyone else (Blake 152). Even youth sports are being affected by racism and racial comments now a days and it is not right (Cook). During the 2018 World Cup one of the players for England did not even want his family to come to the game for fear that racial abuse and comments being directed towards them (Lapchick). “I do not want to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color – Colin Kaepernick (Blake 153).

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Stereotyping of black athletes has become so common and sometimes secretive that it is really hard to stop and keep from growing (Moore). Some athletes are being moved and forced into certain positions in sports just because the color of their skin is different (Moore). For example there are stereotypes of African American athletes playing in positions that do not need much smarts or intelligence and white athletes are paying in crucial positions like quarterback (Hillstom 102). Unfortunately in sports we see athletes with positions who handle the ball the most are usually white athletes (Moore). If you look at what good words scouts say about white and black athletes, most of the good words are being described about white athletes such as leader, smart, and intelligent (Moore). There is also a stereotype of underrepresentation for team ownership and management for African Americans in sports as well (Hillstrom 102).

Lots of athletes are being held back and restricted from certain events and sports just because of their race. Some sports teams and franchises are making it harder for African American fans to come and support their favorite teams and players by raising ticket prices (Hillstrom 104). One of the founders of the Augusta National Golf Club said that he will never let a white golfer play on his course as long as he lived and then in 1990 an African American golfer played on the course (Hillstrom 105). Unfortunately lots of athletes can ruin their careers just for speaking out on their opinion and letting people hear their voice (Blake). Even the implementation of the Rooney Rule and other rules will not fix all the decades of stereotypes and statistics that have come upon athletes of different races (Moore).

There are many ways in which athletes can overcome these racists comments and actions and grow stronger as individuals and as teams. The first major thing athletes have to do to overcome racism is to put their foot in the door and break rules and barriers that were set against them to stop them (Hillstrom 100). Some athletes will put fines or even their careers on the line just so that they can share their their opinions and views on the situation (Blake 135). One way athletes show their opinion is on social media so that the whole world can see their problem and help, but sometimes it can be dangerous (Blake 136). Some athletes have to realize that not everyone is going to agree with their opinion but their opinion is theirs and they have to represent it (Blake 157). Another helpful and beneficial thing athletes can do is to listen and hear what other people and athletes are saying and use that information to help and advance their views and opinions (Blake 164).

Protesting is a great way for athletes to overcome racism and it is a popular method of overcoming diversity like this as well. Athletes have been protesting in sports for years and it is not anything new. But in 2016 people started to take notice and had lots to say when Colin Kaepernick kneeled during the National Anthem before one of his games (Blake 156). Lots of people thought it was un-American and not right. Whether it is right or not is up in the air but it really got people thinking differently about sports and protesting. This action by Kaepernick really changed protesting is sports forever and was a great way for him to share his view with the world.

There were and are many minority athletes who have and are changing the game of sports for athletes of all races. Two athletes especially have paved the way for other minority athletes in sports and they are Mohamed Ali and Jackie Robinson (Hillstrom 100). Without athletes like Jackie Robinson and Mohamed Ali sports just would not be the same for minority athletes (Hillstrom 100). Athletes today like Lebron James, Stephen Curry, Serena and Venus Williams, and many more are helping by being role models and leaders for the next generation of minority athletes. Athletes can overcome this racism by having minority athletes who break records and barriers in the sports world which helps give other athletes motivation (Hillstrom 98).

Sports might be causing the racism but it also might be the only way it stops the racism and brings athletes and fans together and fixes these problems (Blake 137). Athletes are perfect for solving this problem because they are already up in it and dealing with it, but they are also very popular and famous and lots of people listen to them (Blake 153). We look to athletes as leaders and we expect athletes to lead so that they can change this situation (Blake 164). Athletes want to be and need to be educated on how to handle racial discrimination situations because if not they might not be able to handle it right (Blake 165). A way that athletes are solving the problem is by donating their own money so that kids can get into good schools and sports programs so that they can build the next generation (Blake 136).

Having people of minorities in high positions like coaches managers and owners will help integrate people from all races into sports and help solve the problem (Moore). One way is the integration of the Rooney rule in the National Football League which requires teams to interview people of a minority in both head coach and senior football operations positions (Moore). Some soccer leagues are even creating their own type of rooney rule for management just like the NFL (Lapchick). Some leaguses such as the NBA have days or months that support or honor someone or a group of people such as Black History Month (Hillstrom 95). Another way we are solving it is when general managers pick players based on how they will benefit their team instead of what the color of their skin is (Hillstrom 106).

There are many of organizations that are helping solve these problems of racism in sports and equipping athletes on how to take a stand. The Jackie Robinson foundation is a great example because it helps minority athletes get into sports and playing sports (Hillstrom 96). Another good organization is RISE which is a program for athletes to step up and promote good race relations for everyone in every sport (Blake). RISE strives to teach their students about implicit bias, how race plays a role in society, and with an eye toward leadership and teamwork (Blake). They also work with professional athletes who are already fighting for equality to encourage and inspire the students to do the same (Blake).

There is lots to be fixed in the world of sports dealing with equality and race. There have been lots of athletes who have been gamechangers and have broken barriers. There has also been many steps taken to fix these problems with race in sports. The problem has not been totally fixed but there is much progress being made. So in conclusion it is time for change in sports where it does not matter what race you are or what color your skin is, everybody should be treated the same.

Works Cited

  1. Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: what sports have taught me about race in America. Guardian News and Media, 28 Aug. 2018, www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/aug/28/notes-from-an-ungrateful-athlete-why-race-and-sports-matter-in-america.
  2. Cook, Bob. What’s Behind All The Racism At Youth Sports Events? Forbes Media LLC, www.forbes.com/sites/bobcook/2018/02/09/whats-behind-all-the-racism-at-youth-sports-events/#2afc2462b85d. Accessed 9 Feb. 2018.
  3. Lapchick, Richard. Once again, racist acts in sports are on the rise. ESPN, 3 Jan. 2019, www.espn.com/espn/story/_/id/25675586/racism-sports-continued-rear-ugly-head-2018.
  4. Lawrence, Andrew. How the ‘natural talent’ myth is used as a weapon against black athletes. Guardian News and Media, 2 Oct. 2018, www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/oct/02/athletes-racism-language-sports-cam-newton.
  5. Moore, Jack, and Daniel Levitt. The NFL’s Rooney Rule: why football’s racial divide is larger than ever. Guardian News and Media , 19 Sept. 2018, www.theguardian.com/sport/ng-interactive/2018/sep/19/nfl-rooney-rule-coaching-statistics.
  6. Tynes, Tyler. LeBron James and the impossible task of the black athlete escaping racism. Vox Media, 1 June 2017, www.sbnation.com/2017/6/1/15721742/lebron-james-racism-vandalized-cavaliers-los-angeles.
  7. Blake , James. Ways of Grace. Edited by Carol Taylor, HarperCollins Publishers, 2017.
  8. Hillstrom, Laurie Collier. Defining Moments Jackie Robinson and the Integration of Baseball. Omnigraphics, 2013.
  9. Merlino, Doug. ‘Black Seattle/White Seattle.’ The Hustle, Bloomsbury USA, 2011, p. 13.
  10. Watkins , Christine, editor. ‘Title IX is unfair to men’s sports.’ Sports and Athletes, Greenhaven Press, 2009, p. 139. 
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Racism in Sports Essay. (2021, Jun 16). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/racism-in-sports-essay/