Critically Examining White Racial Identity and Privilege in Sport Psychology Consulting

in The Sport Psychologist
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  • 1 San José State University
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Recently, there has been an increased effort to establish multicultural training programs for consultants working with diverse athlete populations. Although several authors have suggested that one aspect of such training is the examination of one’s biases related to race (Andersen, 1993; Martens, Mobley, & Zizzi, 2000), a systematic means of doing so has not yet been adequately discussed. In this article, I briefly discuss the field of whiteness studies, and the process of confronting what McIntosh (1988) has termed the “invisible knapsack of white privilege.” I then present the results of a life-history interview with a white male consultant, in which we discussed his changing sense of racial awareness and how he views his own white racial identity and the privileges associated with it. Finally, I discuss the results of a three-way discussion between myself, the consultant, and an African-American graduate student in sport psychology and present a preliminary account of white privileges specific to the applied field.

Ted M. Butryn is with the Department of Human Performance at San José State University, One Washington Square, San José, CA 95192-0054. E-mail: <tbutryn1@hup.sjsu.edu>.

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