Smashing Barriers: Race and Sport in the New Millenium

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Some have come to the United States to flee war and oppression, including many from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Some, like many Asian Pacific Islanders, have come to escape poverty.

The marathon: five milestones of a legendary race

Many from these countries remain in poverty in the United States. But in general, Asian immigrants come to America already highly educated and of middle- or upper-class means. Consequently, the desire to play sports to enter mainstream American life is not part of the fabric of most Asian communities.

The desire to play and enjoy sports is there.

Smashing Barriers : Race and Sport in the New Millenium

Still, Asian Americans face as many stereotypes on the field of play as they do off it. Whether coaches, players or fans, the common misconception is that Asian Americans are physically inferior to whites, African-Americans and Latinos. Smart, yes. Athletic, no. Sammy Lee was among the first to embrace and excel in both academics and athletics. Though today he lacks the name recognition of Jackie Robinson or Roberto Clemente, pioneers for African American and Latino athletes, respectively, Lee is their Asian equivalent -- and then some.

A year after earning his medical degree, he became the first Asian American to win an Olympic gold medal, finishing first on the meter diving platform at the London Games and again at the Helsinki Games. Sullivan Award as America's top amateur athlete. Only 5-feet, 2-inches tall, Lee overcame discrimination to attain his goals.

A Korean American whose appetite for Olympic competition was first whet when he attended the Los Angeles Games, he practiced diving at the Los Angeles Swim Stadium and the Brookside pool, where only whites could use the pool every day but Wednesday. After Lee and other people of color used it, the pool was drained and there was fresh water for whites by Thursday morning.

I used it as motivation. I wanted to show them that I could be better than them, that I could be the best. So I became the one who tried the most difficult dives. Fledgling Asian American athletes now have a growing host of professional athletes, whether Asian American or simply Asians playing in America, with whom they can more closely identify.

Those who followed Lee to open doors in other sports -- like Michael Chang in tennis, Amy Chow in gymnastics, Kristy Yamaguchi in skating, Jim Paek in hockey, Ichiro Suzuki in baseball, Dat Nguyen in football, and Tiger Woods in golf -- make it easier for future generations to step into the athletic arena. Now not everyone has to become a doctor or lawyer.

In dramatic contrast, nearly 6 percent of all African American students were also athletes in college. Among white students, 2. There is no hard data for youth sports participation, but in cities where there are larger Asian American populations, such as Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Chicago, anecdotal evidence suggests that Asian American children are now much more interested in sports since they see adults who look like them on SportsCenter.

Among them was Greg Louganis, whose legacy as an Olympic diver earned him a place alongside the most recognizable Asian American athletes even today. And I made only 70 cents an hour. There is so much money out there now, you'll see more" Asian Americans playing sports in the years to come. But the implications can be more far reaching than seemingly insignificant results on the athletic field. Tell us if something is incorrect. Richard Lapchick. Walmart Book Format: Paperback. Pickup not available.

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See our disclaimer. An eye-opening racial and gender report card on the state of sport and society at the start of the twenty-first century. Filled with stories about sports figures like Muhammad Ali, Roberto Clemente, Tony Elliot, Tiger Woods, and Venus and Serena Williams, this new edition describes the changing face of diversity in sport the growing numbers of Latino and female college and professional athletes.

He addresses the value of youth athletic programs; the dangers of new racial stereotypes; and the importance of educating athletes to better balance sports and education fame and social responsibility. Specifications Publisher Madison Books. CRT can also be seen as a configuration of alternative accounts in sport that challenge orthodoxies, canons and dogma. This situation is analogous to the moments that moved critical race theorists to emerge from CLS and is likely to be the precursor for a version of CRT to emerge out of the study of sport and leisure Peters Five precepts of CRT are then outlined as a framework to consider as an emergent development in sport and leisure theorising.

It has been generally agreed that critical race theory is a theoretical framework that has emerged from the writing predominantly of black scholars in North America Crenshaw et al. CRT has come out of a particular struggle by scholars who in challenging one of the most symbolic bastions of white privilege and power, the legal system, have developed a transdisciplinary tool from which to oppose the hegemonic influence of the Eurocentric and predominantly white establishment.

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The legal system embodies a conspicuous site of struggle that says as much about who has power and who is privileged in society as about who has not. It is also this arena in which battles are fought that have a massive impact upon the way we engage with society on an individual and collective basis.

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Not only does CRT have the potential to shape the discourses of minds closed to racism-centred perspectives, it also wishes to influence the lethargy in liberal critiques of those debates. As much as our cultural background is mediated by the intersection of gender and class, critical sport sociology is beginning to focus on these and other more conventional fronts concerning racial formations and related processes around gender, identity, nation, racism s and policy Marqusee , , MacClancy , Watson and Scraton , Carrington and McDonald ; racism s Shropshire , Polley , Long , Lapchick ; and policy Horne , Swinney and Horne , Gardiner and Welch , Hylton Societies are constituted of individuals who have internalised the dominant worldviews and hegemonic practices that have found their expression in key institutions such as education, politics, health, housing, law and the arts, and sport is not exempt from this.

However, legitimation of the racial inequalities and assumptions in these institutions can still be open to resistance and emergent ideas. Roithmayr identifies the classroom as one site of struggle and resistance where racial power in sport can be disrupted. CRT is being presented here as an oppositional voice to the worst excesses of sport that propagates and perpetuates racism and the related processes it engenders as we know that sport has the same issues in relation to racialisation and racism as other institutions in society do.

Singer a: contends that CRT positions thinkers to challenge the social order, of which he has identified whiteness as the optimal status criterion. This has the result of power networks, knowledge formers and influential others having a level of influence over opinions, attitudes and ideals that become the unquestioned norms from which other things are judged.

The need for CRT is reinforced by the urgency to challenge power relations structured by racism that will not necessarily be disrupted voluntarily. CRT offers an agenda for social transformation with whiteness a key target of this effort.

Her argument that a black ontology would centre the experience of the racialised Other, where before it had been at the margins of such work in sport and leisure, has merit. This is accomplished by ensuring that the experiences of marginalised groups emerge clearly in the stories disseminated by and to research and policy communities.

However, the Eurocentric knowledge of social science would be far more difficult to maintain were emergent themes, ideas and perspectives reflecting black experiences in sport more evident Goldberg , Carrington a, Gramann and Allison , Jones This has the effect of questioning the everyday assumptions about socially constructed groups that often become the foundation for myth and folklore. They are critical of what they see as academic parochialism; they see CRT applied only to socio-legal issues. CRT is, however, a pragmatic perspective that engages a theoretical framework that has been applied as effectively to education as freely as it has been rigorously applied to US law Parker , Ladson-Billings In addition, Tate IV also acknowledges an extensive but not exhaustive list of the diverse traditions that inform and exercise the application of CRT.

He identifies Marxism, post-structuralism, critical studies, liberalism, cultural nationalism, critical race feminism, critical white studies and LatCrit amongst others. According to Valdes et al. Sport fulfils a number of roles in society that fixes and sharpens our views that define the already established boundaries of moral and political communities; to assist in the creation of new social identities; to give physical expression to certain social values and to act as a means of reflecting on those values; to serve as potentially contested space by opposed groups.

Writers from any standpoint need to be careful in their use of terminology: these are caveats that hold not just for CRT theorists but for any critical actors. In theoretical analyses, writers sometimes have to acknowledge that these debates are ensuing; at the same time we must accept a theoretical frame from which to be critical if racism in society is to be the ultimate focus of our energies.

The reality for Gilroy as it stands for many CRT writers is that racialised discourses are the mutual ground for antiracist activity, race regulation and policy. To conclude this section, it is argued here that writers should navigate the topography of racialised discourses, but in addition should bias their efforts toward transforming the targets of these competing accounts. Five precepts of critical race theory This chapter supports the principles maintained by a CRT framework.

A CRT perspective as outlined below acts as an umbrella for a range of views. The points 30 Critical race theory discussed here are presented as a foundation for approaching the following chapters in this book. It is useful at this juncture to point out that CRT perspectives should be as fluid and dynamic as the problems they attempt to tackle. Stanfield II also asks researchers to consider less the question of methodology but more the notion of an epistemology that gives a more accurate picture of the black experience in society.

The marathon: five milestones of a legendary race

Back et al. Tate IV agrees with this initial premise of CRT but advises caution on how a CRT viewpoint is presented, as the politicisation of such a view is clearly necessary but not to the detriment of denying that progress is being made elsewhere. Further, such a realist position could be a clarion call to accept the racial status quo because of the intractable position we find ourselves in.