The African American male student-athlete occupies one of the most peculiar positions in American society. While lauded for their sport performance, they are often viewed as problematic in the broader society. While their performance generates millions of dollars for universities and the NCAA, for most, their labor often produces comparatively little personal gain. While they are recruited as student-athletes, they soon realize that the demands of their athletic commitment renders them athlete-students. Many outside of sport would argue that this is a choice and an informed decision. But we argue much of this is a consequence of the mis-education of the African American student-athlete. We examine this phenomenon through the lens of Critical Race Theory to provide an alternative view of the issues faced by African American student-athletes and suggest an alternative pedagogy that might be investigated to meet their needs.
Louis Harrison Jr., Albert Y. Bimper Jr., Martin P. Smith and Alvin D. Logan
Rebecca E. Hasson
al., 2008 ; Whitt-Glover et al., 2009 ; Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, 2009 ). Self-reported physical activity levels indicate that African-American and Latino adolescents age 9–13 participate in less leisure-time physical activity than their White counterparts ( Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance
Sofiya Alhassan, Christine W. St. Laurent and Sarah Burkart
prekindergarten programs; Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, 2017 ). Compared with their non-Hispanic White counterparts (63%), a higher percentage of African American (68%) children spend a significant portion of their day at preschool centers ( Federal Interagency Forum on Child and
Shaun M. Anderson and Matthew M. Martin
Comedian Chris Rock explained in a 2015 interview on Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel that Major League Baseball (MLB) lacks a relatability factor in the African American community. He stated that “Black people and baseball ain’t a good match anymore” ( Axisa, 2015 ). Furthermore, he explained that
Jenny Lind Withycombe
Stereotypes have the power to dynamically structure African American female athletes’ oppression (Buysse & Embser-Herbert, 2004; Kane, 1996), for example, by trivializing their athletic efforts (Douglas, 2002). The purpose of this paper was to examine how African American women athletes experience such stereotypes. Drawing from Collins (1990) and Crenshaw’s (1991) work on intersectionality, data were gathered from eight African American female athletes regarding their sport experiences. Qualitative analyses revealed two major themes: Gendered Stereotypes and Racial Stereotypes. Findings suggested that complex intersections of these stereotypes significantly impacted African American female athletes’ sport experiences. It is concluded that future research should explore in greater depth the sexist, racist, and classist incidences of African American female athletes’ experiences at all levels of sport participation.
Bonnie Berry and Earl Smith
Criminological literature and statistics show that African Americans are comparatively overrepresented in the United States criminal justice system. This study explores whether African American athletes are similarly overrepresented as criminally involved sports figures. Data abundantly illustrate that African Americans fare worse in all phases of criminal justice compared to whites. It has been speculated that African Americans, perhaps due to cultural influences or blocked opportunities, do commit more crime than other racial categories. There is equally strong reason to believe that the representation of African Americans in the criminal justice system is largely a result of racial bias on the part of social control agencies. Crime among athletes, regardless of race, can be explained through social forces, such as collective behavior, organizational influences, and social process. We conclude that African American athletes are socially expected to be engaged in crime and suggest a new approach to this area of study.
George B. Cunningham, Jennifer E. Bruening and Thomas Straub
The purpose of this study was to examine factors that contribute to the under representation of African Americans in head coaching positions. In Study 1, qualitative data were collected from assistant football (n = 41) and men’s basketball (n = 16) coaches to examine why coaches sought head coaching positions, barriers to obtaining such positions, and reasons for leaving the coaching profession. In Study 2, assistant football (n = 259) and men’s basketball coaches (n = 114) completed a questionnaire developed from Study 1. Results indicate that although there were no differences in desire to become a head coach, African Americans, relative to Whites, perceived race and opportunity as limiting their ability to obtain a head coaching position and had greater occupational turnover intentions. Context moderated the latter results, as the effects were stronger for African American football coaches than they were for African American basketball coaches. Results have practical implications for the advancement of African American football coaches into head coaching roles.
Ketra L. Armstrong
Sport managers and marketers strategically include individuals with specific characteristics as spokespersons in their persuasive communications (i.e., advertisements, promotional messages, development campaigns, and announcements) to appeal to and influence the attitudes and behaviors of their intended audience. This study was designed to examine African-American students’ responses to race (when moderated by the students' ethnic identification) as a salient characteristic of the person featured in a persuasive sport communication. It sought to examine the role of race in the communication process as: (a) a heuristic/peripheral cue for inducing message responses and evaluation, and (b) a variable that influenced the students' tendency to engage in biased or objective strategies to process the information presented. The results offer an illustration of how sociological variables such as race and ethnicity influence the communication process in general and the means of communicating sport related issues to African-American students in particular.
Darren D. Kelly and Marlene A. Dixon
Despite excellent performance on the field and years of academic and social attention, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I African American male student-athletes continue to struggle to have an optimal and well-rounded college experience at predominantly White institutions of higher education. In particular, the first 2 years of college represent a difficult period during which this group would benefit from new ideas to support their multiple transitions. Mentoring, and more specifically constellation mentoring, provides great promise for aiding in the transition and success of this group (Kram, 1985). Mentoring, like other organizational transition management tools, focuses on helping people navigate a transition into a new setting (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2010). However, constellation mentoring can be simultaneously broad (in terms of range of needs addressed) and specifically tailored to individual needs. This study seeks to establish a framework for how mentoring may provide a valuable tool for addressing the needs of African American male student-athletes as they transition into the college sport, social, and academic atmosphere.