Discrimination is defined as unequal and unfair treatment of individuals on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sex or age which results in denial of opportunities, selection or promotion. Racism, ethnic discrimination and exclusion of migrants and minorities are the most common types of discrimination in sports, along with gender and age discrimination. Women of an ethnic origin, or those coming from ethnic minorities or migrant communities, are particularly under represented in sports and especially in managerial or executive positions in sports organizations.
In professional sports, discrimination may come from managers or owners of teams who treat unfavorably certain individuals and choose to exclude them during selection of players. An example of "employer discrimination" would be the prejudice against black Major League Baseball players in the United States until 1947. Managers and coaches are also responsible for the discriminatory practices connected with wage disparities between individuals of different race, ethnicity or minority and their white local counterparts.
Discrimination coming from inside the team, namely from some or all of the team players, is referred to as "co-worker discrimination." Such was the case with the first black Major League Baseball player, Jackie Robinson, whose selection was subject to attacks and criticisms from his colleagues who protested in front of the management.
In contrast, fans and spectators are the external sources of discrimination and such "customer prejudice" often leads to racist incidents, especially in football. In some cases referees and club officials also take part in discriminatory and racist practices.
The most common discriminatory practice is pay difference for equal work on the grounds of race or sex. During the 1950s in the United States, inexperienced white players were offered higher starting salaries and bonuses than equally qualified blacks. Inequality in hiring