The belief that soccer offers black Britons an avenue of social mobility is challenged in this study. Examination of their involvement reveals that blacks have suffered both overt and tacit discrimination. Subject to racial abuse from spectators, black Britons also appear to experience a process of “stacking” apparently related to the concept of centrality. In conducting this study, research data and methodologies from North America and Britain were combined, and the concept of centrality was refined in order to apply it to soccer. The evidence supports the contention that blacks are assigned to positions by white managers on the basis of racial stereotypes of abilities. Future research needs to examine this dimension more closely.
Direct all correspondence to J.A. Maguire, Sports Studies Program, West Sussex Institute of Higher Education, College Lane, Chichester, West Sussex, England P019 4PE.