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Racism in Sports and the African American College Athlete Essay

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Racism in Sports and the African American College Athlete

The role of college athletics in the American home is known to all. The traditional football games on Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. March Madness for NCAA men's basketball as well as the year's end Rose bowl for college football leaves fans glued to their televisions for hours. Millions of Americans stare at ESPN or absorb themselves in the most recent issue of Sports Illustrated just to catch the latest news on their favorite teams' recruits, recent games, and statistics. Often just viewed as a past time to most it is easy to lose sight of why these athletes are on the field , court, etc. to begin with. Believe it or not, it's for their education. These young adults ranging anywhere from seventeen to twenty-three years of age are all members of the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association). As such these students must initially meet the requirements to get accepted into their chosen university, participate in their sport, and ultimately graduate from their selected institution. It is often forgotten that these members are students first and athletes second. Delving deeper into this very controversial matter are the race and gender issues that come into play. The most affected minority group affected by these stipulations and is the African American. While struggling through the ongoing prejudice and discrimination that still exists today, African American athletes are still expected to follow the same guidelines as every other student that participates in college athletics. By investigating the trends from the past years of African American athletes beginning with their entrance into college throughout their athletic and academic careers and then a...


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...lass of 1992 where 58% of the approximately 67,000 graduated in six years versus their general counterparts' graduation rate of 56%. Although the rate of graduation for male and female basketball players had slipped in the past several years, a minimal amount it can be attributed to the high success rate of the African American Athlete in professional sports such as the NBA or NFL. Though this may sound negative, the black female athlete is still graduating at a rate 12 percent higher than that of the her general counterparts and the black male at a rate 10 percent higher than his. Although the proportion of black student athletes dropped after Proposition 48, the actual number of graduating black student athletes increased. This supports the fact that those students entering college since its induction, have had a much higher success rate than those before.


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