Sports, admittedly, have had a huge impact on our culture. Some of us even use sports as an excuse to gather our family for some quality time with each other, whether they just hangout for the sake of entertainment or engage in a meaningful conversation full of fervid passion when discussing spectacular plays, athletes, and coaches. However, people talk about the multitude of positive traits that sports are associated with, one must be informed about the abundance of issues that sports face; issues that keep sports from being what we want it to be- free from malicious intent and more along the lines of a peaceful collaboration perpetuated by authentic equality; coming together to proclaim our love for the game. Inequality, for example, is an issue inhibiting that peaceful collaboration. In this essay, I plan to explore two types of inequality that are associated with sports- racial and gender.
Take a look at an excerpt from Maya Angelou’s autobiography entitled, “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” The unsettling; apprehensive mood was set, everybody at a local general store just sitting anxiously over the outcome of a boxing match. Angelou writes with such clarity for us to comprehend how significant it was that Joe Louis wins,
“My race groaned. It was our people falling. It was another lynching, yet another Black man hanging on a tree. One more woman ambushed and raped. A Black boy whipped and maimed. It was hounds on the trail of a man running through slimy swamps. It was a white woman slapping her maid for being forgetful” (486).
Here we get to the most powerful part of her story; making these comparisons why sports, at this particular moment, mattered so much for Black culture. Consequently, if Joe Louis lost, it would mean that all those abhorrent accusations that Blacks were essentially lower types of human beings to White supremacists. As a result, this boxing match would give White supremacists further reason to believe that Blacks were stupid, lazy, dirty, untrustworthy, and therefore shouldn’t even exist.
In the end, there was such a thunderous celebration, “Champion of the World. A Black boy. Some Black mother’s son. He was the strongest man in the world. People drank Coca-Colas like ambrosia and ate candy bars like Christmas” (Angelou 487). The above story exemplifies the racial inequality that existed in sports and still does to this day.
It is against the law to discriminate against someone on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex. This law is regulated by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. However, there is a fine line between discrimination and prejudice. Prejudice is an unfavorable opinion or feeling held within a person. Discrimination is the practice of unfair treatment based on race, sex, religion, national origin. There are many people who still hold that preconceived negative judgment for someone on the basis of their race. Discrimination may be against the law, but this doesn’t stop...