Racial discrimination has always played a large part in the culture within the sports industry. However, during the climb in popularity and participation among Black men and women in organized sport, it sparked overt racial tension. During the 1930s through 1960s (also known as the Jim Crow Era) Black men and women who were qualified and well educated about their particular sport were banned from participating, simply because of the color of their skin. Scholars Miller and Wiggins (2004) explained that Black men, specifically, endured racial discrimination not just in professional sports such as athletes like Jesse Owens, Joe Lewis, and Henry Armstrong (p.148), but young men entering collegiate sports during this time were also subjected to mistreatment and discrimination. The scholars in addition stated that:
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...ime examples of the covert and symbolic racism that goes on within sport organizations. A fan and spectator would have not known that racism was going on “behind close doors” within the organization. Similarly, this incident falls into the colorblind racism category due to the fact that some people will ignore the fact that racism is apart of the Hawks organization, even with it garnering media attention.
Ultimately, racism, either if fans and spectators acknowledge it or not, is a factor that is plaguing society and the sport industry. However, to combat racism, the industry will need to eliminate racism and be open about the discriminatory practices that were going on the organizations. Racism has long been apart of the foundation of America and it sports. There needs to be a change. However, when will this change be implemented for equality and equity in sports?
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