The Role Race Plays in Sports

Topics: Major League Baseball, African American, Basketball Pages: 4 (1504 words) Published: December 4, 2012
The Role of Sports in Popular Culture
Team A
November 29, 2012

The Role of Sports in Popular Culture
The issue of race and how it historically has affected sports, athletes, fans, and their communities is the topic of our team’s paper today. We will begin with a brief history of race and sports, and examine the current state of today’s most popular sports. Then we will explore the influence race has on athletics programs, their participants, and enthusiasts. We will conclude with recommendations about how we can all participate in sports more responsibly. History and Current State

Race continues today to play a significant role in professional sports in the United States. Our history focus is on the four major sports in America today; professional ice hockey (NHL), major league baseball (MLB), professional football (NFL), and professional basketball (NBA). During the early years of major league baseball, segregation of Black and White players was commonplace because of racism. Today MLB is roughly 8.5% African American (, 2011). On the other hand, just 25 years ago the National Football League was 70% white and today that number has dropped to about 30% (, 2012). The sport with the largest concentration of African Americans is professional basketball. The irony of this is basketball was created by a White man; Dr. James Naismith (, 2005). According to ESPN’s Outside the Lines in 2009, 71.9% of NBA players are African American decent and only 9.9% are Caucasian (, 2012). The elimination of racism in sports is a task that may never be accomplished. There have been significant steps taken in a relatively short period to ensure our children are afforded equal opportunities to play the games we love together. For the less privileged, making a living playing these games is the only outlet they have to become productive citizens in society.

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