The Culture Of Sports Essay

2154 words - 9 pages

Every facet of American culture can be analyzed to describe something about American people as a whole. Whether using fast food to show our society’s obsession with instant gratification, or Facebook and text messaging to portray our need for constant contact, it is clear that our culture reflects directly on our society as a whole and can be examined via every aspect of the American culture. No facet of American culture however, is as highly regarded by the American people more than sports. According to a recent Gallup poll, approximately 67% of the entire American population is a fan of at least one sport, where a “fan” (short for fanatic), is defined as “a person with an extreme and uncritical enthusiasm or zeal”, according to Miriam Webster’s Dictionary. Through sports, many Americans can express their allegiance to a school, university, city, or even a country without having to even leave their living room. From the first game of stickball (a game resembling baseball) during the American Revolutionary era, to today’s modern football and basketball, nearly every American embraces sports as a point of importance in their life. It is through this passion, that sports have the ability to bring the American society together while transcending racial boundaries. Despite these differences, sports expose and remove the racial boundaries that are present in today’s society.
Playing a significant role as a site of racial conflict and civil rights in the 1950‘s, the Boston Red Sox were resistant to the thought of integration. One of the first teams to notice Jackie Robinson, a Red Sox scout was sent out to see if Robinson might be a match for the team. Before even getting to see him play, the scout proudly said, “I’m not going to waste my time waiting on a bunch of nigger.” (Bryant 1). Red Sox owner, Tom Yawkey refused to even consider signing Jackie Robinson simply due to the fact that he was a black man. Not even willing to offer him a try-out opportunity, the Mayor of Boston threatened to revoke the Red Sox’s exemption to blue laws, laws that were in place to mandate Sundays to remain a day of rest for religious reasons. As a result, the Red Sox offered Jackie Robinson a half-hearted tryout, with no real intention to even consider him. During the tryout, someone yelled “get those niggers off the field,” according to a reporter who was there that day (“The Boston Red Sox and Racism”). Becoming the very last team to integrate, the history of racism that surrounds the Boston Red Sox is one that African-American baseball players still recognize today.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Brooklyn Dodgers were one of the first teams to integrate. Joining the Brooklyn Dodgers, Jackie Robinson broke through the racial boundary to become the first African-American professional baseball player. As a result, the Dodgers became one of the first teams to appeal to black and white fans and had the highest ticket sales in the league. By appealing to the...

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