Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Why the Sports Beat is a Window on the World

from Salon

The controversy surrounding Colin Kaepernick’s comments are a reminder of how sports are a metaphor for social and political life in the United States. For example, in the NFL black players dominate on the field but are grossly underrepresented as head coaches and in other senior positions. The NFL’s teams — with one exception — are all owned by white men. Likewise, white men are grossly over-represented in the National Football League’s media, marketing, and merchandising machine. Women are present largely as cheerleaders, sex objects for the titillation of men. Old racial stereotypes still color how football players are described by sports analysts and fans. Black football players have “natural talent” and “raw physicality”; white football players “work hard” and are “intelligent.” As such, the notion that African-Americans possess the mental acumen necessary to play as a starting quarterback in the National Football League is still a relatively new one.

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