Racial Participation and Integration in English Professional Basketball 1977-1994

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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This study investigates racial trends, in terms of participation and integration, in the highest levels of English professional basketball A longitudinal approach is utilized whereby the facial and international compositions of teams and coaching staffs who comprised the First Division of the English National Basketball League during the period 1977-1994 are examined. The findings demonstrate that although a substantial increase in the number of Blacks, and more specifically black Britons, who played the game at the highest level in England took place during the set time period, no evidence of racial discrimination, as demonstrated through “stacking,” exists. It is hypothesized, however, that racism within English basketball is alternatively manifest through numerous social dynamics particular to the English context that are responsible for the predominance of black athletes within the sport. These developments, in turn, are interlinked with the wider global processes of commercialization and Americanization.

Robert Chappell and Robyn L. Jones are at Brunel University College, Osterley Campus, Borough Road, Isleworth, Middlesex TW7 5DU, UK. Adrian M. Burden is at the University of Brighton, Sussex BW2 4BT, UK.

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