Race and Sports: A Reference Handbook

ABC-CLIO. (Contemporary World Issues). Jan. 2021. 359p. ISBN 9781440862823. $63. REF
After decades of racial integration, racism still pervades U.S. sports. Myers (dir. of equity and inclusion, Choate Rosemary Hall) examines the barriers faced by Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and Asian American athletes, coaches, and journalists, as well as their responses to racism. Myers looks at the 1940s benching of Leonard Bates and Lucien V. Alexis Jr., two Black student athletes who were forced to sit out games when their schools played against institutions with racist policies; the Black player Curt Flood’s 1969 antitrust suit against Major League Baseball; the Williams sisters’ boycotting the Indian Wells tennis tournament after they endured racist comments there; Nike’s support of Colin Kaepernick and the Black Lives Matter movement; and the bias experienced by Jeremy Lin, the first Taiwanese American player in NBA history. Chapter 3 consists of seven personal essays on racist stereotypes, access, and other topics. Chapter 4 offers profiles of individuals (LeBron James, Oren Lyons, Simone Biles) and organizations (American Tennis Association, the “Change the Mascot” campaign). The book has an annotated bibliography, and each chapter includes a list of additional resources. The chronology and chapters on history provide the most interesting reading, while the “Data and Documents” section and the index are the most reference-friendly. This title distinguishes itself from similar works that limit themselves to only professional, youth, or college sports; specific athletes; or topics such as politics or gender. However, readers might wish for more discussion of solutions.
VERDICT Will be of interest to social sciences and physical education students, as well as those interested in athletics.
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