Race and racism: The black male experience in sports

Wardell Johnson, Vanessa Prier Jackson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Today, the United States is marred by extreme racist openness toward minorities and people of color. It begins in Congress and the Senate with voting measures that advocate racist movements. Further, candidates for the presidency promote the idea of sending millions of illegal immigrants back to their country. The movement “Black Lives Matter” reflects a level of dissatisfaction with the blatancies of racist actions throughout America, but a most important arena of racist actions is in academia. It begins with the recruitment of top athletes, which are typically African American, and is evident in the starting lineups for football and basketball teams. Over the years there has been a prevalence of once-aspiring professional Black male athletes who end up with no degree, few job prospects, and used-up eligibility. Only 65 percent of African American basketball student-athletes graduated in 2013. There is a 25-percent gap between the graduation rates of white and Black basketball student-athletes. This is due to a lack of concern for academic achievements among male athletes, where they are taught to think about athletics first and academia second. This chapter will utilize the critical race theory to explore academic versus athletic achievement and racism among African American males in predominantly white and historically Black colleges and universities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCritical Race Theory
Subtitle of host publicationBlack Athletic Sporting Experiences in the United States
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781137600387
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2017.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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