Is Racism Still an Issue in Sports Today?

Throughout the history of sports racism has been a major issue. It took many years for sports to become integrated. For example, Jackie Robinson, an amazing African American baseball player, played for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro League in 1945. Jackie Robinson was better than most of the white MLB players, however because of his skin color he was not accepted in the MLB. However, 2 years later the Brooklyn Dodgers finally gave him a chance. He wasn't the picked for his athletic abilities, more because they beleived he could put up with all of the racial discrimnation. For years and years, a lot of African American athletes talents have been overlooked because the color of their skin. It took decades before racism started to die down in sports.Many people feel that racism is no longer a factor in sports. That is not true racism is still very much alive in various sports.

Why is basketball mainly considered a black mans sport ?Why is it that when we here about a young athlete playing basketball everyone first thinking is he/she is black? I've once heard that black people are only good for running shooting and stealing so why not let them make a career out of it.In some cases its been known that white NBA officals where more likley to call fouls on black players more than white players and the black officals where known to call more fouls on the white players.Black players play 83 percent of the time,while 68 percent of officials were white.Black athletes are compared to anmials according to one fan but basketball players aren’t animals they’re athletes.They’re being characterized as that just because they arent white.


Back when baseball was first created it was an all white sport. The blacks who had talent and wanted to play had to play in the Negro league. There was a major color barrier in the sport. Finally in 1947 Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier. He was the first African-American player in the MLB. Today in 2010 the MLB is a very diverse sport. Mainly consisting of Caucasian, Hispanic and Black players. Many may not feel that racism is a factor in this sport either, but there still is. Stereotypes are racial assumptions. For example, many Hispanic people are characterized as good baseball players. Furthermore, in baseball today a major issue is steroids. Many players are being investigated and many are being treated differently. For instance, look two different treatments of two MLB players; Mark McGuire who is white and Barry Bonds who is a black player. Both used steroids during their MLB careers and both were caught. However, the way Barry Bonds was treated was far worse than how Mark McGuire was treated. Barry Bonds was hated and discriminated by fans. He was investigated and was tried before congress several times. He is the home run king and look at him now. He is gone from baseball he has nothing, and no longer appreciated by fans. Mark McGuire on the other hand, was also a great player but look at him now. He was not treated even half as bad. The media did not really bother him and fans remained loyal to him. Even now, he is a batting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals. Two great players, Barry Bonds being slightly better in the record books and one player black and one player white, both treated completely different. Could this be because Barry Bonds is black? It sure seems like it. Both players committed the same crime and received completely different punishments. p1_bonds_si.jpg092208_5403020109_200.jpg

GOLF: The PGA Tour

As we all know one of the most popular athletes in all of sports and in the PGA tour is Tiger Woods. Tiger Woods was/is pretty much the face of Golf. Tiger Woods is the highest paid athlete in all of sports and still the only African-American player on the tour. The PGA tour is not very diverse at all. It’s mostly a bunch of middle-aged Caucasian men and Tiger Woods towers above them all. Recently, Tiger Woods has had a load of problems. He was caught cheating on his wife. The media was all over this story. It was the headline all over ESPN and even news stations. Tiger Woods was being trashed and his appearance was being slayed by the media. He lost millions in endorsements and his personal life was being invaded. This problem even forced him to take time out of his passion (golf). Men all across the United States and even the world cheat on their wives constantly. Some get caught some do not. Some get divorced and some stay together. The fact of the matter is it is a personal issue. The media, the people should not get involved. However, in Tiger Woods case he was being trashed by everyone. People were asking for an apology? Apology for what? The only person Tiger Woods had to answer to was his wife. Tiger Woods lost millions and millions in endorsements and even apologized in a press conference. He was pretty much forced into sex rehab just to help out his “public image”. Was Tiger Woods treated the way he was because of the fact he is a very popular public figure/athlete or because of the fact he is African-American? If Alex Rodriguez was caught in the same position would he be treated the same way? I doubt it. Furthermore, Tiger Woods game has dropped immensely since the whole incident however, it is slowly rising. His break from golf caused his game to drop along with all the media distractions. The incident was blown up much more than it should have. Maybe it turned out this way because he is black.

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In conclusion, racism has existed in sports for decades. Many people feel it has died down but regardless it is still very much alive. As long as it is alive in sports we should ask ourselves, is society really making progress? Are we really taking steps forward from decades ago? Racism should be eliminated completely. Especially in sports, all these men and women who go out and compete each day are athletes. The only color that should be seen is the color on their jerseys. Athletes like Jackie Robinson, Joe Louis, Jesse Owens etc. have fought and played thru discrimination for years so the future athletes wouldn’t have to. If racism in society is going to stop we need to start with sports. From here we can go anywhere.