Race & Sport (2004)


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Slides from a 2004 class on Race & Sport

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  • Reading provided were to introduce you to the concepts that are related to sport sociology.
    Some of the common themes you will find are included in this list
    There are LOTS & LOTS of ACADMEMIC research about sport sociology
    Tonight’s purpose is to give you an overview of some of the concepts that are tackled
    My background is from Sport Management perspective
    I view sport sociology topics in relation to the business or management of sport/ I may be somewhat cynical
    I attempt to teach people to view things with their hearts, but also remember the managerial perspective
  • Race has always been a part of the American sport experience
    Does anyone know Yale’s mascot? Princeton’s mascot?
    In 1891, the NY times covered the rivalry football game between Yale and Princeton
    The paper talks about how Yale paraded their established icon-a bulldog, across the fields
    Princeton, not to be outdone, invented an impromptu mascot designed to match the schools colors orange and black
  • Princeton was not going to be outdone in that way, however. Pretty soon out came old Nassau’s mascot, and the boys of the blue had to confess that they of the orange had scored a point. Princeton’s mascot was a comely young colored girl. She was dressed in a flaming orange dress, with an orange bonnet and an orange parasol. She walked around the field eating an orange and apparently entirely unconscious of the tremendous sensation she created.
  • Soon after this there was a rise in the number of colleges and universities that were mimicking members of other races
    Simpson College, a private Methodist school in central Iowa adopted the “Scalp Song”
    Made reference to cannibalism and combat
    Currently Miami University offers a ring tone with their “Scalp Song”
    Stanford has a version
    There was a rise in the number of institutions who choose mascots that were influenced by the Native American people and culture
    Ironically, at the same time Native Americans were becoming a dominate force in football
  • Which Sport was involved with assimilating Native Americans?
    During the early part of last century, boarding schools were designed to educate and “civilize” Native Americans
    Most famous facility was the Carlisle Indian Industrial School
    Playing football promoted Euro-American values of fairness, responsibility, and autonomy
    Carlisle produced a number of all-Americans, most notably Jim Thorpe
    Most of their games were attended by thousands, even up to 15,000
    The games were often viewed as racial contest
    The media often stressed the savagery, physicality, and innate differences of the Indian players
  • In sprite of the success that Native American athletes were receiving, Jim Crow haunted college athletics and the American society
    Teams and institutions were entitled to refuse to play interracial games
    In the 1939 Cotton Bowl, Clemson insisted that Boston College not play their star running back Lou Montgomery
    Agreement was challenged in 1940: NYU was scheduled to play U of Missouri-an all white team who requested NYU leave their full back Leonard Banks
    When NYU agreed, there were intense student protest calling for the end of Jim Crow in Sports
  • Native Americans who were once celebrated are now largely empty images
    African-Americans, who were formally excluded are the star players and trouble delinquents
  • Euro-Americans remain constant
  • How many of you remember Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire were in the chase to break the home run record?
    In sport, rather than refuse things- we rework it, edit it, and reconstruct it
    When it comes to race and sport certain facts get excluded
    People don’t discuss it and some try to erase it
    How many of you know the year or the name of the first black athlete to play sports at your undergraduate institution?
  • HOC does not present a single history of college sport, it uses several techniques to capture the spirit and significance of college sport.
    HOC offers a series of time lines that focus on chronological succession of accomplishments
    Rather than present a full account of events surrounding an athlete, such as intense discrimination, racial differences are not discussed
  • Up through the 1950’s one sees virtually no images of African Americans players, and you might conclude it was 100% white game
    There is no explanation on the integration of non-white players within the time lines.
    There is no mention of any great moments related to race at a college
    There is an entire exhibit on mascots
    There is one small display about the centennial of black college football-a photograph featuring pre-game ceremonies for Johnson C. Smith University and Livingstone College commemorating the centennial of black college football.
    Segregation is not mentioned and Jim Crow is not mentioned
    Both examples shoe how race is present, yet absent and intangible
    Celebratory and nostalgic histories erase race
  • Does anyone know who is Jack Trice
    In 1988 Iowa State University rededicated it’s football stadium in his honor
    He played only 1 game
    He pinned a note to himself for the first game: “ The honor of my race, family, and self is at stake. Everyone is expecting me to do big things. I will! My whole body and soul are to be thrown recklessly about the field tomorrow. Every time the ball is snapped, I will be trying to do more than my part. On all defensive plays I must break through the opponents’ line and stop the play in their territory”
    He died from injuries sustained against U of Minnesota.
    The motivations and intentions of U of Minnesota players were unclear, but some players sought to hurt and sideline Trice because he was black
    Naming the stadium after Trice paid tribute to the qualities he displayed, even in a brief career
    Naming the stadium after him could remind fans, students, alumni about how race can be an important issue in sport
  • Images and accounts of African-American athletes challenge reproduce, transcend and even deploy contemporary domains of Blackness.
    However they also create and re-create what Euro-Americans believe about the race
    Blackness has had about 3 phases
    With Euro-Americans there is a mixture of fear, longing, and ambivalence that has long characterized our relationship
  • I am briefly explaining the context of body politics because it sets the context to several of the issues related to race in sport.
    This is the academic way to start to understand why we perceive there to be differences between athletes of different races.
  • The media and our frames of reference truly influence our perceptions about the Black athlete, especially when they choose not to attend college
    Several comments are usually associated with Black athletes who turn pro
    Almost every class I have ever taught has at least found their way in restating these each time, only one class I taught saw no problem what-so-ever
  • Show you how race impacts how we view things
    In mid-1990’2 two super athletes Drew Henson & Kobe Bryant faced the decision of going to college or going pro
    The media presented them as polar opposites
    Henson was applauded for his decision
    Bryant was challenged, if not condemned for his
  • Striking similarities
    Henson played pro-baseball & college football at the same time
    Bryant’s father was a pro-basketball player
    Henson’s father coached high school sports
  • NY Yankees offered him a $2 million signing bonus to play minor leagues in the summer
    Yankees traded him to the Reds in the half season: Henson became unhappy and threatned the Red’s management with the fact he was going to play football, so the Red’s traded him back to the Yankees
    The Yankees provided him with a large amount of money so he didn’t go play football
  • Sports Illustrated stories
  • Immediately after Bryant announced his intention to enter the draft and to forgo his college eligibility questioned his decision
    His physical and emotional maturity was debated in the media
  • The black athlete needs the refinement and upward mobility secured by college, in spite of his background.
  • Q#1 Should there be a minimum age requirement for professional athletes? If yes what is the reason?
    Are you opposed to Maria Sharapova playing? Dominique Moceanu who won the US National Championship at 13?
    Have you been protesting Robert Swift, taken #31 in this year’s draft. HS senior from Bakersfield, CA?
    Al Montoya 6th round of NHL draft by New York Ranger’s (Chicago’s own)
  • Best examples to focus on are the William’s sisters.
    Think about what you have heard about them in the media and how they appear to have had these issues
    These are women at the elite levels experiencing this, what is going on at lower levels?
  • -Talk about the activity results
  • No matter how bad we want to believe it, sports are not void of racial problems
  • Race & Sport (2004)

    1. 1. Race & SportRace & Sport
    2. 2. Class FormatClass Format  Overview of Sport Sociology/ Issues inOverview of Sport Sociology/ Issues in SportSport  Expand your perspectiveExpand your perspective
    3. 3. Sport SociologySport Sociology  StackingStacking  Participation TrendsParticipation Trends  Employment TrendsEmployment Trends  Participation BenefitsParticipation Benefits  OppressionOppression  Is sport a microcosm of society?Is sport a microcosm of society?
    4. 4. The BeginningThe Beginning V. Yale Princeto n
    5. 5. Scalp SongScalp Song  Simpson CollegeSimpson College  Miami University (Ohio)Miami University (Ohio)  StanfordStanford
    6. 6. Indians on the GridironIndians on the Gridiron
    7. 7. Jim Crow & SportJim Crow & Sport  Gentleman’s AgreementGentleman’s Agreement  1939 Cotton Bowl1939 Cotton Bowl  1940 NYU v. U. of Missouri1940 NYU v. U. of Missouri
    8. 8. Irony?Irony?
    9. 9. Euro-AmericansEuro-Americans  SpectatorsSpectators  CoachesCoaches  AdministratorsAdministrators  JournalistJournalist  AthletesAthletes  Performance isn’t normally marked byPerformance isn’t normally marked by racerace
    10. 10. Sports & RecollectionSports & Recollection  Recalling events is synonymous with sportRecalling events is synonymous with sport  Events related to race and sport are oftenEvents related to race and sport are often excluded or devoid of facts aboutexcluded or devoid of facts about strugglesstruggles
    11. 11. Erasing ProcessErasing Process  NCAA Hall of ChampionsNCAA Hall of Champions  They do not address segregation orThey do not address segregation or integrationintegration  Athletes accomplishments are devoid ofAthletes accomplishments are devoid of segregationsegregation
    12. 12. Erasing Process (cont.)Erasing Process (cont.)  College Football Hall of FameCollege Football Hall of Fame  No attempts are made to clarify raceNo attempts are made to clarify race  No discussion about the conditions theNo discussion about the conditions the Native Americans excelled under, andNative Americans excelled under, and how they disappearedhow they disappeared  Fails to show the rise of the African-Fails to show the rise of the African- American athleteAmerican athlete  Bypasses topics of Native AmericanBypasses topics of Native American mascots & Confederate mascotsmascots & Confederate mascots
    13. 13. Jack TriceJack Trice  Iowa State UniversityIowa State University rededicated theirrededicated their stadium in his honorstadium in his honor  One of the first BlackOne of the first Black players at ISUplayers at ISU
    14. 14. Love/Hate the Black BodyLove/Hate the Black Body  Black bodies have been seen asBlack bodies have been seen as grotesquegrotesque  Black bodies have been renderedBlack bodies have been rendered aesthetically as superior in: strength,aesthetically as superior in: strength, speed, & resiliencespeed, & resilience  Black bodies signified deviance: sexuality,Black bodies signified deviance: sexuality, style, presentation, criminalitystyle, presentation, criminality
    15. 15. Love/Hate the Black BodyLove/Hate the Black Body  The body of the African-AmericanThe body of the African-American athletes, as a site and source ofathletes, as a site and source of exceptional ability, criminal deviance, andexceptional ability, criminal deviance, and spectatorial, if not sexual pleasure,spectatorial, if not sexual pleasure, simultaneously facilitates imagination andsimultaneously facilitates imagination and exploitation. And as it entertains, inspires,exploitation. And as it entertains, inspires, troubles, and revolts, it legitimates, if nottroubles, and revolts, it legitimates, if not encourages, discipline, regulation andencourages, discipline, regulation and control.control. (King & Springwood, 2001)(King & Springwood, 2001)
    16. 16. College or Pro?College or Pro?  ImmatureImmature  MaterialisticMaterialistic  Disinterested in EducationDisinterested in Education  Lacking DisciplineLacking Discipline  Taking the Easy Way OutTaking the Easy Way Out  Needs to Care for their FamiliesNeeds to Care for their Families
    17. 17. A Tale of Two AthletesA Tale of Two Athletes  Henson opted toHenson opted to attend the Universityattend the University of Michigan & playof Michigan & play minor league baseballminor league baseball in the summerin the summer  Bryant decided toBryant decided to play pro-basketballplay pro-basketball
    18. 18. A Tale of Two AthletesA Tale of Two Athletes  Phenomenal AthletesPhenomenal Athletes  Middle-class familiesMiddle-class families involved in sportinvolved in sport  Approached byApproached by professional teams inprofessional teams in high schoolhigh school
    19. 19. A Tale of Two AthletesA Tale of Two Athletes  Bryant received a $10Bryant received a $10 million contractmillion contract  NY Yankees openlyNY Yankees openly courted Hensoncourted Henson  Bryant “the nextBryant “the next Michael Jordan”Michael Jordan”  Henson “the nextHenson “the next Michael Jordan of proMichael Jordan of pro sports”sports”
    20. 20. A Tale of Two AthletesA Tale of Two Athletes  Bryant: School’s OutBryant: School’s Out  Henson: Golden Boy:Henson: Golden Boy: Michigan-BoundMichigan-Bound Quarterback andQuarterback and Yankee Bonus ByYankee Bonus By Drew Henson—WhoDrew Henson—Who Also Averaged 22Also Averaged 22 Points in BasketballPoints in Basketball and 4.0 in theand 4.0 in the Classroom Is AlmostClassroom Is Almost Too Good to Be TrueToo Good to Be True
    21. 21. A Tale of Two AthletesA Tale of Two Athletes  Bryant’s physical andBryant’s physical and emotional maturity wasemotional maturity was debated in the mediadebated in the media  Did he have theDid he have the necessary experience ornecessary experience or strength?strength?  Could he handle theCould he handle the pressure?pressure?  College would refine him,College would refine him, grant him the opportunitygrant him the opportunity to earn a diploma and toto earn a diploma and to improve his gameimprove his game
    22. 22. A Tale of Two AthletesA Tale of Two Athletes  Henson’s choices wereHenson’s choices were celebratedcelebrated  Yankees were very verbalYankees were very verbal in the media they wantedin the media they wanted him now!him now!  No arguments aboutNo arguments about maturitymaturity  No assumptions about hisNo assumptions about his physical abilityphysical ability  No mention of the valueNo mention of the value of a college degreeof a college degree
    23. 23. The Assumptions?The Assumptions?  Bryant is lackingBryant is lacking  Bryant is breaking theBryant is breaking the “rules”“rules”  Is there theIs there the suggestion that Blacksuggestion that Black athletes need training,athletes need training, regulation, andregulation, and discipline, but thatdiscipline, but that their Euro-Americantheir Euro-American counterparts do not?counterparts do not?
    24. 24. Problems with Kobe?Problems with Kobe?  Than consider TigerThan consider Tiger  Left Stanford beforeLeft Stanford before graduatinggraduating  Some backlash, atSome backlash, at firstfirst
    25. 25. The Rules of SportThe Rules of Sport Maria Sharapova age 17 Robert Swift age 19 Al Montoya age 19 Dominique Moceanu age 13 Rick Nash age 18
    26. 26. The Black Female AthleteThe Black Female Athlete  Research about women in sport has beenResearch about women in sport has been limitedlimited  Large research studies about BlackLarge research studies about Black women and sport were not conducted untilwomen and sport were not conducted until the 1980’sthe 1980’s  Contemporary research continues toContemporary research continues to ignore Black womenignore Black women
    27. 27. The Black Female AthleteThe Black Female Athlete  Black females at ALL levels ofBlack females at ALL levels of competition, only account for 6-8% ofcompetition, only account for 6-8% of athletesathletes  Limited research suggest that there areLimited research suggest that there are some similarities, but more differencessome similarities, but more differences than Euro-American female athletesthan Euro-American female athletes
    28. 28. The Black Female AthleteThe Black Female Athlete  Girls only with exceptional talent receiveGirls only with exceptional talent receive encouragementencouragement  Culture is more comfortable with femalesCulture is more comfortable with females in traditional rolesin traditional roles  Sports is still viewed as a predominatelySports is still viewed as a predominately male activitymale activity
    29. 29. Additional ProblemsAdditional Problems  Cultural differencesCultural differences  Different set of valuesDifferent set of values  Environments withEnvironments with tension &tension & misunderstandingmisunderstanding  Lack of sensitivityLack of sensitivity  Differences related toDifferences related to commitment, ethics, faircommitment, ethics, fair play, winningplay, winning  Differences in style ofDifferences in style of playplay
    30. 30. StackingStacking  Describes the assumption that minorities possess certain set of skills appropriate to certain positions on teams (or specific sports or events), and they will compete among themselves for these positions
    31. 31. Nontraditional SportsNontraditional Sports  Exclusionary clubs and leaguesExclusionary clubs and leagues  Lack of minority role modelsLack of minority role models  Lack of accessibility to facilities orLack of accessibility to facilities or coachingcoaching
    32. 32. Misc. TopicsMisc. Topics  What’s in a name?What’s in a name? – First name v. last nameFirst name v. last name  Success when the playing field is even?Success when the playing field is even?
    33. 33. ConclusionConclusion  “…“…it is important to acknowledge that,it is important to acknowledge that, despite problems, sports can be sites fordespite problems, sports can be sites for challenging race logic and transformingchallenging race logic and transforming racial and ethnic relations”racial and ethnic relations” (Coakley, 2001).(Coakley, 2001).