This article looks at the Hollywood “blockbuster” movie The Blind Side (2009) to explore intersections of race, class, and gender in a significant neoliberal, cultural commodity. Animating the production and, apparently, the consumption of the film is the “inspiring” story of Michael Oher, an impoverished young African American man who was adopted by a wealthy white family and rose to success in the National Football League in the United States. The film mobilizes postracial and postfeminist discourses to tell a story of redemption and how private charity can overcome social problems that the state cannot. Ultimately, charity operates as a signifying act of whiteness that obscures the social relations of domination that not only make charity possible but also creates an urban underclass in need of charity.
Ted M. Butryn
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.
Anna E. Mathews, Sarah B. Laditka, James N. Laditka, Sara Wilcox, Sara J. Corwin, Rui Liu, Daniela B. Friedman, Rebecca Hunter, Winston Tseng and Rebecca G. Logsdon
This study identified perceived physical activity (PA) enablers and barriers among a racially/ethnically and geographically diverse group of older adults. Data were from 42 focus groups conducted with African Americans, American Indians, Latinos, Chinese, Vietnamese, and non-Hispanic Whites (hereafter Whites). Constant-comparison methods were used to analyze the data. Common barriers were health problems, fear of falling, and inconvenience. Common enablers were positive outcome expectations, social support, and PA program access. American Indians mentioned the built environment and lack of knowledge about PA as barriers and health benefits as an enabler more than participants in other groups. Whites and American Indians emphasized the importance of PA programs specifically designed for older adults. Findings suggest several ways to promote PA among older people, including developing exercise programs designed for older adults and health messages promoting existing places and programs older adults can use to engage in PA.
Matthew J. Taylor, Rachel A. Wamser, Michelle E. Sanchez and Charleanea M. Arellano
The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of sports participation and race/ethnicity on violence and victimization among a sample of white, African American, and Hispanic rural-area high school girls. It was hypothesized that girls who participated in sports would report lower rates of violent behavior and fewer incidents of victimization. Using logistic regression and multivariate analysis of variance, evidence for the hypotheses was mixed and appeared to be related to the type of violence and victimization. Sports participants were less likely to engage in general violence and reported less physical and sexual victimization, but did not experience less intimate partner violence victimization. Conversely, sports participants were more likely to engage in verbal and physical reactive violence. While sports participation may have some preventative impact on violence and victimization, this relationship may also be influenced by community characteristics and not a universal outcome.
Brett D. Johnson and Norris R. Johnson
One explanation for stacking in sports is that minorities are excluded from positions with the greatest opportunity for determining the outcome of the competition, with the place kicker in football cited as an example. This paper postulated that the short relief pitcher in baseball also has high outcome control, and it hypothesized that minorities would be underrepresented in that position as well. We classified major league pitchers from the 1992 and 1993 seasons as starters, stoppers, or others and tested whether race or ethnicity was a factor in assignment to these positions. The hypothesis was not supported for either African American or Latin American pitchers. Minority group members were equally underrepresented in all categories of the pitcher position.
Paul M. Wright and Suzanne Burton
Underserved youth are at risk for numerous threats to their physical and psychological well-being. To navigate the challenges they face, they need a variety of positive life skills. This study systematically explored the implementation and short-term outcomes of a responsibility-based physical activity program that was integrated into an intact high school physical education class. Qualitative methods, drawing on multiple data sources, were used to evaluate a 20-lesson teaching personal and social responsibility (TPSR) program. Participants were 23 African American students in an urban high school. Five themes characterized the program: (a) establishing a relevant curriculum, (b) navigating barriers, (c) practicing life skills, (d) seeing the potential for transfer, and (e) creating a valued program. Findings extend the empirical literature related to TPSR and, more generally, physical activity programs designed to promote life skills. Implications for practitioners are discussed.
Leslie A. Pruitt, Abby C. King, Eva Obarzanek, Michael Miller, Mary O’Toole, William L. Haskell, Laura Fast, Sheila Reynolds and for the Activity Counseling Trial Research Group
Physical activity recall (PAR) reliability was estimated in a three-site sample of African American and white adults. The sample was sedentary at baseline and more varied in physical activity 24 months later. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) were used to estimate the number of PAR assessments necessary to obtain a reliability of 0.70 at both timepoints.
The PAR was administered ≤ 30 d apart at baseline (n = 547) and 24 months (n = 648). Energy expenditure ICC was calculated by race, gender, and age.
Baseline reliability was low for all groups with 4–16 PARs estimated to attain reliable data. ICCs at 24 months were similar (ICC = 0.54–0.55) for race and age group, with 2–3 PARs estimated to reach acceptable reliability. At 24 months, women were more reliable reporters than men.
Low sample variability in activity reduced reliability, highlighting the importance of evaluating diverse groups. Despite evaluating a sample with greater physical activity variability, an estimated 2–3 PARs were necessary to obtain acceptable reliability.
Susan G. Zieff, Claudia M. Guedes and Amy Eyler
Neighborhood environment and resources affect physical activity. This study examined the relationships between San Francisco residents’ perceived barriers to physical activity and policy-maker perspectives of conditions in neighborhoods that are under-served for physical activity.
Nine focus groups comprised of primarily African American, Chinese American, and Latino populations were constructed from 6 low-income neighborhoods to respond to questions based on the social-ecological model about neighborhood recreational opportunities and to offer policy and intervention strategies to increase physical activity. A tenth focus group was conducted with staff members from 7 city departments to respond to neighborhood focus groups outcomes. The transcribed videotaped discussions were analyzed using qualitative content analysis.
Both residents and policy-makers highlighted neighborhood disparities that reduce physical activity including unsafe and unhealthy environments and difficulty accessing available resources. Residents reported fewer available free or low-cost resources than those identified by policy-makers.
Findings suggest that policy-makers would benefit from consideration of neighborhood-level affects of policies on physical activity and local residents’ recommendations for policies affecting physical activity. Concordance between residents’ perceptions and policy-maker perceptions of neighborhood conditions for physical activity was greater than reported in previous literature.
Sara Wilcox, Melinda Forthofer, Patricia A. Sharpe and Brent Hutto
Walking interventions delivered by lay leaders have been shown to be effective. Knowing the characteristics of individuals who volunteer to be group leaders in walking programs could facilitate more efficient and effective recruitment and training.
Walking group leaders were recruited into a community-based program and formed walking groups from existing social networks. Leaders and members completed a survey, participated in physical measurements, and wore an accelerometer. Regression models (adjusting for group clustering and covariates) tested psychosocial and behavioral differences between leaders and members.
The sample included 296 adults (86% women, 66% African American). Leaders (n = 60) were similar to members (n = 236) with respect to most sociodemographic and health characteristics, but were significantly older and more likely to report arthritis and high cholesterol (P-values < .05). Although leaders and members were similar in sedentary behavior and physical activity, leaders reported higher levels of exercise self-regulation, self-efficacy, and social support (P-values < .01). Leaders also reported greater use of outdoor trails (P = .005) and other outdoor recreation areas (P = .003) for physical activity than members.
Although walking group leaders were no more active than members, leaders did display psychosocial characteristics and behaviors consistent with a greater readiness for change.
Marsha Dowda, Ruth P. Saunders, Lauren Hastings, Jennifer M. Gay and Alexandra E. Evans
Our goal was to describe the types of physical activities and sedentary pursuits reported by children living in residential children’s homes and make comparisons by age, gender, and race/ethnic groups.
Participants were 263 children (52% male, 40% 11 to 14 years old, 53% White, 23% African American, and 24% other race/ethnic groups) in 23 residential children’s homes in North and South Carolina. The median length of stay in the homes was 6 months. Physical activities and sedentary pursuits were reported over a 3-day period using the 3-Day Physical Activity Recall (3DPAR).
Boys reported participating in more basketball (P ≤ .001), football (P ≤ .001), and videogames or surfing the net (P ≤ .001) than did girls. Girls reported more cheerleading, social dance, and homework than did boys (P values ≤ .01). There were few race differences. Fewer older children reported participation in physical education classes, and more reported working part-time than younger children (P values ≤ .001).
Children in residential homes appear to participate in activities that are similar to children living with their parents, with boys reporting more team activities and girls reporting more individual activities. However, children in residential children’s homes may participate in some physical activities for shorter periods of time than children living with their parents.