Sport, Racism, and Ethnicity​ Case Study Help

Please read the following instructions thoroughly and ask questions if you have them!

For this case study you must choose a controversial event or incident, (or limited series of incidents) from the world of sports in which race was a factor in the controversy (or wasn’t and should have been, i.e., the racial component was ignored) and analyze it using the theories and readings from class alongside your own critique. You will draw on class materials and press coverage (where relevant) in discussing the ways in which your chosen case reflects racial norms, constructions, and stereotypes.

Choosing a case:

• You can choose a singular event (a commentator’s racist remarks), moment (fans throwing a banana at a Black soccer player), or a limited series of related events (i.e., the multiple accusations of sexual assault against Ben Roethlisberger). Do not analyze the entire career of an athlete (i.e., Tiger Woods) or take on a whole issue (i.e., racism in European football).

• Do not forget that identity is intersectional. In other words, if you choose a case such as Sheryl Swoopes’ coming out you have to bring her intersectional identity (Black, gay, woman, working class background). Even something like Muhammad Ali’s famous Rumble in the Jungle fight is about more than just him being Black; he is also a Muslim, from a working-class background, and a man participating in an extremely masculine sport.

• Choose something in which you are interested. Maybe you heard about the story of the Black high school wrestler who was forced to cut his hair to compete or the cross country runner who was disqualified for wearing hijab. Maybe you are an avid fan of the NBA but don’t know a lot about its history. There are a lot of events in NBA history—even before the infamous brawl in Detroit that you can explore such as the “the punch” in the 1970s. Maybe you are interested in how the media operates to reinforce racial stereotypes; there are plenty of cases about commentators and reporters making racially charged remarks (calling players monkeys or other animals for example).

• You may not use a case that we have discussed (or will discuss) extensively in class or something from before 1975. If you have a question about whether a person or issue was covered, ask me!

Off-limit cases include:

o Colin Kaepernick

o Serena Williams

o Caster Semenya

o Tiffany Chin

o Jeremy Lin

o Yao Ming

o Personal cases—in other words things you or your friends have experienced. You must choose something that has made the news, but it can be from any level of sport (youth, high school, college, Olympics, pros)

o Anything before 1975 including the 1968 Mexico City protest

Part I: Present the case (300 words)

Explain the event in a narrative format (i.e., tell the story) providing enough details necessary for any reader unfamiliar with the event to understand both what happened and your analysis. You may use popular press and media accounts in this section.

Part II: Contextualize the case (500 words)

Discuss how the case reflects the various axes of power and their intersections, as well as both historical and contemporary racial stereotypes. Consider addressing the ways in which race has factored into the sport you are discussing in the past and/or how manifestations of stereotypes and beliefs about race in other sports might reflect on your case.

Use scholarly articles for this section. You may draw on the readings we have used in class thus far, where applicable, but also look in the library’s databases. I recommend SportDISCUS (make sure you check off peer reviewed when you search.)

Part III: A better response (250 words)

In this section you will discuss a response that would have been—based on what you have read and learned thus far about race (and other identity markers) and power in sports—more equitable or fair (depending on how you define those terms). This is the section in which you present your opinion of and view on the case you have chosen AND back up your stance using course materials and/or outside sources.

DOs and DON’Ts

• You do not have to use a formal citation method (you may if you would like) but you must note where your sources come from.

o Example: In his book about the Mexico City Olympic protests, author Dave Zirin explains that….

o Jamie Schultz in her 2005 article, writes that Serena Williams’s wearing of a “catsuit” at the 2002 US Open….

o A 2010 New York Times article by Gere Longman notes that women’s soccer has…

• DO: number your pages and double space your work, include your name on the paper

Grading: 10-point scale

​2 points for presentation (grammar, spelling, word choice, syntax)

8 points for content (strength of argument, use of sources, organization of ideas in a logical way)

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