The Role Race Plays in Sports Essay

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 (CBSNews. com, 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% (ChaCha. com, 2012). The sport with the largest concentration of African Americans is professional basketball.

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The irony of this is basketball was created by a White man; Dr. James Naismith (Kansasheritage. org, 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 (BlackEnterprise. com, 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.

The influence race has on sports, and its fans The issue of race in sports has more of a positive influence rather than negative one. This is evident as we see individuals of all ethnicities and race become successful through their talents. There are certain critics who may make the argument that a majority of the football and basketball players are of African American descent, baseball players of Hispanic, Caucasian, and African American, Soccer a majority of Hispanic, and finally hockey a majority of Caucasian. Even though this might be a fair statement it has more to do with one’s upbringing, experience, and dedication.

Professional sports players are individuals who have worked hard by practicing many hours exerting dedication and discipline to reach their dreams, so this does not hold any weight regarding if race has any influence on sports. The team consensus is, it does not matter the race of an individual just how he or she performs. In the end the only thing that matters is performance and money. The enjoyment millions of fans get from watching sporting events has nothing to do with the race of the individuals playing the game.

One team member, who is a passionate football fan, says she enjoys the entertainment factor along with the comradery of fellow enthusiast. The better argument regarding sports would be gender inequality. For women in sports do not get the respect for their talents, publicity, or financial compensation like their male counterparts. How sports influence society Sporting games have been around for countless years; playing games is how we first learned to communicate effectively with each other. The evolution of sports and will always remain a mainstay in society.

Sports usually has a positive influence on society over time and is well known for bringing people together from different cultures, cities, and countries. This togetherness gives sports a diverse feel. The entertainment factor of sports is huge around the world. Athletes, whether they like it or not have become heroes and role models to young children and have an obligation to set good examples for those children who look up to them. Sports may have many positive aspects but behind the scenes many believe there is a loss of professionalism. These once admirable professions are seen by many as corrupt and overrated.

The negative aspect of sports deals directly with the integrity of the game. The negative input in sports comes from individuals doing anything and everything they can to have a competitive edge over their competition, along with the willingness to make a dollar at any cost. The influence sports have on society is both negative and positive. This influence is something that will most likely not go away as long as people play competitive games; this main source of entertainment will always be watched. Wilson Mizner states, “In order to excel, you must be completely dedicated to your chosen sport.

You must also be prepared to work hard and be willing to accept destructive criticism. Without 100% dedication you won’t be able to do this. ” How to consume in sports responsibly Sports have become a major pass time and common ground among races. No matter what one’s race, culture, or nationality there is a sport for just about everyone. There have been many struggles within the sports world that has affected many races, including Asians, African Americans, Hispanics, etc. Like many other historical struggles, time, perseverance, and patience have contributed to breaking the barriers and making sports available to everyone around the world.

The Olympics is an example of how sports can be shared among different nationalities, races, and cultures. Africa, Morocco, Japan, Portugal, England, Iraq, and India are just a few countries that participated in the 2012 Olympics (Olympic. org, 2012). Playing sports is something everyone can do and should not be based ones race or gender, but his or her skills, abilities, and desire to play. Consuming sport activities, whether watching or playing, race should not be a factor.

Individuals playing sports should consider the true meaning of sportsmanship; developing respect for the opponent and acquiring a sense of humility, gracious in winning or losing. Sportsmanship also can be explained as treating the opponent with fairness and respect (kidshealth. org, 2012). Sportsmanship is not just reserved for the athletes playing the sport. It should also be geared toward the fans who watch the event. Fan should also adhere to the rules and expectations. The consumption of sports should be done with responsibility and respect to each other and the officials’ who maintain order and fairness.

Sports can be a tool to forge friendships, developing body, will, mind, and establishing unity. Participate in Sports Participating in sports can be a fun and healthy activity, but it is important to play responsibly to ensure safety. Most sports have national and international regulations set to protect its’ players. Whether it is safety equipment or rules and regulations, safety measures should be taken very seriously. Full contact sports such as football and soccer, rely on individuals following the rules to protect the physical health of the players. Commonly, in backyard play during a friendly game safety measures are put aside.

It is important to play with precautions and full awareness. Responsible things to do before playing sports are, understand the rules, knowledge of other’s existing injuries, and always play fair. It should always be about fun, but remember responsibilities when engaged in play. Whether one is playing or watching sports it is important to remember to be safe and responsible. Watching sports sounds like the safest way to participate in sports. Most people just arrive at sporting events not thinking anything could happen to them. Spectating can seem fairly harmless but there is injury risks involved too.

Always make sure you are aware of your surroundings when attending a sports event. Many onlookers have been injured or killed because of structural collapses, flying debris, fires, and falling over stadium railings. One common denominator found that can be contribute to an unsafe environment, whether you are at an event or watching on television, is alcohol. Angry, or excited, fans have been known to start fights and riots all over the world at during different sporting activities.


BlackEnterprise. com. (2012, March 28). NBA decoded: have black athletes killed the white all-star? Retrieved from http://www. lackenterprise. com/money/decoded/nba-decoded-have-black-athletes-killed-the-white-all-star/ CBSNews. com. (2011, April 21). Percentage of black MLB players drops to 8. 5%. Retrieved from http://www. cbsnews. com/2100-500290_162-20056074. html ChaCha. com. (2012). What percentage of white people are in the NFL? Retrieved from http://www. chacha. com/question/what-percentage-of-white-people-are-in-the-nfl Kansasheritage. org. (2005, January 5). History of basketball. Retrieved from http://www. kansasheritage. org/people/naismith. html Olympic. org. (2012). 204 national Olympic committees. Retrieved from


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