Discussion Questions

  1. Do you believe that whites or non-whites are more encouraged to play professional sports by agents of socialization, including their peers, family members, people in their educational experience, and in the media? Are there certain sports that certain races are more encouraged to pursue? If so, why do you think this occurs? Explain your position using at least one example to support your discussion.
  2. What is the connection between student and athlete among most of today’s college sporting teams? Do you think that most people involved, including coaches, players, and fans, focus more on the athletic or academic achievements of athletes? If you believe the latter is true, do you think it is appropriate to pay college athletes? How does your current understanding of the social construction of race in America contribute to your decision, if at all? Explain.
  3. With a larger proportion of non-white players in sports like baseball, basketball, and football, logically it would also make sense that non-white owners and head coaches would also increase. However, this is not the case. What social barriers exist that prevent non-whites from becoming owners of teams? What social barriers exist that prevent non-whites from becoming head coaches? Do you think it is necessary to have racial inclusivity at the highest levels of sporting management? Why or why not?