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Discrimination And Racism In Sports

.. ith AIDSits depressing. Stereotyping homosexuals as having AIDS is another form of that ignorance. Man groups and individuals believe that a homosexual presence can ruin their reputations and how others view them in society. Sometimes, people are afraid of association.

In 1980, when gay, American decathlete, Dr. Tom Waddell began planning a separate Olympic games for gays and lesbians, the U.S. Olympic Committee protested. In Gays and Lesbians and Sports, the author states: While it saw nothing wrong with older Americans using the name for a Senior Olympics, or with the Kennedys using it for the Special Olympics for the physically or mentally impaired, the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) saw red when a gay man tried to use the name for a sporting event for homosexuals. The USOC spent millions of dollars fighting the Gay Olympics, all the way to the U.S.

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Supreme Court, where the homosexuals lost (Pg 21). The USOC felt that a Gay Olympics would ruin their reputation and therefore fought to suppress the homosexual pride. The games began however, known as the Gay Games. However, there will never be a Gay Olympics. A living and constant reminder of the hatred and discrimination against the gay minority groups by other groups and individuals society.

Another live example of the same argument is the LPGA Tour. From Gays and Lesbians and Sports, a lesbian golfer discusses a previous players meeting in an interview with Out Magazine, Ladies, we do not care what goes on inside your bedroom. But keep it there. The message was loud and clear: for the golf tour to succeed, we need to rid ourselves of the lesbian stigma. (Pg 33). Homosexuality is a very sensitive issue for both gays and lesbians.

It is hard to openly admit to being a homosexual. Individuals fear the rejection, ridicule and insensitivity displayed by individuals and groups in society. When Martine Navritilova came out and admitted she was a lesbian, she faced the humiliation and pain of her parents abandonment of her. The moved back home to Prague in the former Czechoslovakia. She had to deal without the support of her parents, who until that time were very close to her.

For this reason many stay in the closet. Bowing down to the negativity and discrimination against them. If they do not put up a fight, the discrimination will last forever. A female who steps into an arena or onto and athletic field may feel like prey in an enemy territory. Sports have generally been a make domain in our culture.

The exclusion of women in sports goes back to ancient Greece more then 2500 years ago. It seems as if women have been fighting for respect in the sporting world for a long, long time. Women have made great strides in sports such as basketball, hockey and track and field. However, they are still suppressed quite a bit. The first female to ever play in a National Hockey League game suited up for the inaugural game in the inaugural year of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Her name was Manon Rheaume. They ended up losing 2-1 against the Minnesota Northstars. She never played another pro hockey game. She was immediately sent down to the minor leagues and was never recalled. Seemed to have been a publicity issue, to play a female goaltender.

It goes to show how women are not allowed the opportunity to play against men. Stereotypes of females in sports are also present because women in sports have often said that their involvement in sports led others to believe that they were lesbians. One half of all females in athletics agree that homophobia was a hindrance to attracting and retaining women in athletic careers. The co-ed aspect of sport is non-existent. Womens sports are stereotypically less interesting then those of the men. The women are less physical, the do now show much finesse, and are generally boring to watch, so the stereotype goes.

For example, in professional tennis, the game is slower and the rallies are not as exhilarating. Women arent as strong and athletic as the men and do not display the same strength or skill level as them either. In the eyes of the spectator, watching Vince Carter play is more exciting then watching Sherryl Swoops even though both are at the top of the NBA and WNBA respectively. Womens teams are not funded as equally as the mens teams. This goes even for college athletics, in the NCAA with equal men and women on campus, only 30% of operating budgets are given towards womens sports.

This inequity denies women an equal opportunity to benefit from sports, and sometimes denies them from attending college at all because scholarship money is not made available to them. Not only in the school atmosphere, but also as a career women are discouraged to entering the field of athletics because the salary for females entering athletic careers is very low. The factors mentioned above occur mainly because the fans pay to see the more active and interesting mens teams. Especially in spectator sports, women will always be at a disadvantage. Men play a more interesting and action packed game.

Only fiver percent of televised sports contain womens events. Women play more fundamentally which is in fact, boring. Discrimination, racism and stereotypes will always exist in sports. There is too much influence making it hard for justice to prevail. Sports are mainly a reflection of society, the acceptance of minorities in sports will slowly take place, as acceptance of minorities occurs in society. Sports are meant to be for everyone to enjoy and differences are to be left outside the playing field.

Sports are not to be political, yet some use them to make a point, some countries boycott the Olympics because of political differences, and some also use them to make amends among countries in dispute. Too much pressure is put on todays athletes to compete on the highest level possible Athletics are a common ground where everyone can have a good time and show case their skills in an encouraging manner. Bibliography B i b l i o g r a p h y T E X T S Kenneth L. Shropshire, In black and white: race and sports in America, .New York : New York University Press, 1996. Hoose, Phillip M, Necessities(Racial Barriers in American Sport), New York, USA: Random House, Inc., 1989.

3. Sports and Games Essays.


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