Chapter 9 – “I’m not your child”: Racism in Sport – Critical Response

In Zirin’s book Game Over chapter 9 took a deeper look into the notion of racism and its relationship with professional sport. According to an American poll in 2011 the world of professional sport is one of the least racist sectors in our society today and is less racist then society as a whole. Is this really concept really true though? I personally disagree and the book backs that up as well stating that racism in pro sport is actually alive and well.

Through pro sport there are man various ethnicities, cultures, and countries represented by athletes but this does not take away from the racism still present. One of the examples Zirin used was the hope of Jeremy Lin. Jeremy Lin became quickly became a sensation for the New York Knicks and the basketball world. Lin was the first ever American born player of a Chinese – Taiwanese descent. Jeremy’s statistics were blowing up and so was his hype eventually gaining the nickname Linsanity. All the on court magic and success did still not halt the racism surrounding Lin. Jason Whitlock from Fox Sports tweeted “I thought Asains couldn’t drive” as well as Floyd Mayweather was on record stating “Jeremy Lin is a good player but all the hype is because he is asain, Black players do what he does every night and don’t get the same praise” (Zirin, pg. 173). Clearly Lin’s play was still over shadowed in the eyes of some due to his ethnicity. This idea is not only present in the sport of basketball but in the sport of hockey as well

Joel Ward may have lived every child hockey players dream as a kid, to score a game 7 overtime goal in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Arguably the biggest goal of his career and the second it went in such a great moment for one individual took a turn for the worse. We all know how emotional sports can be but there definitely a line that can not be crossed. After the goal many Bruins fan took to twitter with there opinions on the Washington’s Ward. The common theme amongst these angry tweeters was the excessive amount and usage of the provocative “N word”. In a matter of seconds what was just a game between two teams then became a racial news problem.

These are just two of many examples that show racism is very alive and well in pro sport. A great quote from the end of chapter 9 states that “after the final buzzer, we are all equals” (Zirin, pg. 183). Ethnicity or skin color has no physical relation to the outcome of the game yet we as society let it creep into sport and our lifestyles to much. The notion of racism is still present in sport and is a matter that continually needs to be attended to in order to keep the gam fair, equal, between the whistles, and on the field not in the news for the wrong reasons.

Zirin, D. (2013). Game over: How politics has turned the sports world upside down. (pp. 163-183). New York, United States of America: The New Press.

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