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Critical Race Theory: Black Athletic Sporting Experiences in the United States

A. Lamont Williams

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Mamba in the Mirror: Black Masculinity, Celebrity, and the Public Mourning of Kobe Bryant

A. Lamont Williams

In this manuscript, the author describes their unexpected grieving process in dealing with the death of Kobe Bryant. In particular, the author focuses on the mourning process on tragic celebrity deaths and the relationship between celebrity, mortality, and the ways in which people make sense of themselves through celebrity figures. The author attempts to highlight the complicated nature of mourning celebrity figures who are not personally known, especially those that have a complicated history in the public eye. The author moves into and through their own personal experiences as a Black man in order to make sense of public mourning, race, and the Black Masculinity of Kobe Bryant.

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(Un)Doing Diversity Work in a “Diverse” Space: Examining Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Work in Historically Black College and University Athletics

A. Lamont Williams, Marcis Fennell, and Yannick Kluch

Matters related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) have taken center stage in intercollegiate athletics in response to renewed momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement after the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery (to name a few) in 2020. Following the trend, athletics diversity and inclusion officer positions have been developed to implement DEI programming and strategy in athletics on respective campuses. However, while research on DEI programming at historically White institutions is well established, inquiries on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are rare. To fill this gap in the literature on strategic DEI efforts, the present study aims to analyze the current landscape of DEI work at HBCUs. Drawing from racialized organization theory, we argue that the contemporary conceptualization of DEI hinders the perceptual need for DEI programming at HBCUs. Thus, the monolithic approach of DEI programming cannot remain the pragmatic solution to inequitable experiences in NCAA athletics, specifically at HBCUs. Considerations include budgetary allocations, professional development, and the overall athlete experience.

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Through the Decades: Critical Race Theory and Pathways Forward in Sport Sociology Research

Jonathan E. Howe, Ajhanai C.I. Keaton, Sayvon J.L. Foster, and A. Lamont Williams

Critical race theory (CRT) is a powerful framework and methodological tool for sport scholars and practitioners to incorporate into their work. While CRT tenets vary depending on discipline, individuals utilizing the framework understand the permanence of racism and how it is institutionalized within various social structures. In honor of the 40th year of the Sociology of Sport Journal, we conducted a review of the journal to assess how CRT has been used among sport sociologists. After reflecting on the 40-year history of Sociology of Sport Journal, we argue for the continued use of CRT and CRT extensions to fulfill the maximum potential of this foundational framework to achieve its goals of emancipation, social justice, and racial equity. We conclude by discussing the future of CRT in sport sociology research and practice in a post “racial reckoning” society, specifically within the U.S. context.