Sports is a part of the human culture, which means that sports can be regarded as the reflection of the society. It is possible to note that sports world is associated with controversies related to race, gender and sexuality. Researchers claim that the modern sports can be characterized by such notions as discrimination as well as white and masculine dominance (Knijnik, 2015). Importantly, the world is evolving so does the sports community. The aspects mentioned above have shaped the society, but it is still premature to state that race, gender, and sexuality issues have been resolved or can be resolved in the nearest future.
We will write a custom Essay on Sports Issues of Gender, Race and Sexuality specifically for you
301 certified writers online
As has been mentioned above the central features of the contemporary sport are white and masculine domination. Elsey (2014) stresses that such sports as football are still associated with strong masculine players (or rather machos). This trend is specifically prevailing in some countries. For instance, Argentinian football fans do not find Messi or Ronaldo good enough due to these players’ unconventional behavior as they do not try to prove their masculinity in the way other players do (Elsey, 2014). Furthermore, issues associated with sexuality are still tabooed in many kinds of sports. Butterworth (2006) emphasizes that gay players in baseball have to silent their identities to remain in the game as people (fans, directors, and so on) still see the game as the manifestation of masculinity. More so, the division between the feminine and masculine is still very strong in the USA and in the global arena. Pieper (2012) sheds light on the way the life of Renée Richards, a male-to-female transsexual, is an illustration of the way gender distinction is central in the world of sports. People still perceive male and female bodies as fit for a number of specific activities and sports, and any deviations are unaccepted with only a few exclusions.
However, irrespective of the prevalence of the traditional norms, the world of sports has changed significantly during the past decades. The major shifts have taken place in the sphere of the race. Many societies have become less concerned about the race of players especially if those are high-achievers. For instance, Brazilians (who used to be rather ethnocentric decades ago) do not focus on their football players’ race but concentrate on their achievements (Maranhão, 2007). Nonetheless, when the team is not winning, some players (usually those pertaining to ethnic minorities) are accused of playing non-Brazilian football. Burgos (2009) notes that African Americans and Latinos had to fight for their inclusion, but the fight is not won to date. When it comes to gender and sexuality, the changes are even less apparent, but they are still present. The mentioned case of Renée Richards shows that some societies are ready to be more liberal when it comes to gender distinctions as the athlete won in the New York Supreme Court (Pieper, 2012). Nonetheless, the international sports committees are more traditional, which means that different nations have different views on the matter.
On balance, it is possible to note that the world of sports can be characterized by such features as white and masculine dominance. Such areas as race, gender and sexuality are still associated with prejudice and bias. It is noteworthy that the major shift in people’s perspectives has occurred in the sphere of race and ethnicity. As for gender and sexuality, sports remain very traditional even though there is some tokenism. Nevertheless, the presence of tiniest changes shows that the world of sports is evolving and discrimination (in all aspects) is likely to disappear.
Burgos, A. (2009). Left out: Afro-Latinos, black baseball, and the revision of baseball’s racial history. Social Text 98, 27(1), 37-58.
Butterworth, M. (2006). Pitchers and catchers: Mike Piazza and the discourse of gay identity in the national pastime. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 30(2), 138-157.
Elsey, B. (2014, November 17). Messi, Maradona, and Argentine machismo. The Allrounder. Web.
Knijnik, J. (2015). Femininities and masculinities in Brazilian women’s football: Resistance and compliance. Journal of International Women’s Studies, 16(3), 54-70.
Maranhão, T. (2007). Apollonians and Dionysians: The role of football in Gilberto Freyre’s vision of Brazilian people. Soccer & Society, 8(4), 510-523.
Pieper, L. (2012). Gender regulation: Renée Richards revisited. The International Journal of the History of Sport, 29(5), 675-690.