Black Lives Matter: Racism in the world of Sports: 1900s to the present times

Racism is still prevalent in the world of sports today in the 21st century. This is not something new as there has been racism and disparities between races in sports for several years. 

Recently there has been a recognition of systemic and deep-rooted racism around the world, and people of all races have joined the Black Lives Matter movement.

Now let's go back to the 1900s. Did you know African Americans were not allowed to play on white professional teams in the 1900s? When owners of teams wanted African American men on their team they would have to try and describe him as a Hispanic or Native American. 

This demonstrated deep-rooted racism against the African American community. As a result, the African American community created their own league in the 1920s. In the 1940s, the barrier was finally broken and African American men were permitted to join the MLB. 

This was a historic moment in sports history. Jackie Robinson was the first African American player to play in the MLB as he represented Brooklyn Dodgers.  

The movement was again brought into the limelight during the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. Tommie Smith and John Carlos were athletes representing America in the 200-meter sprint and they went on to win medals. 

During their awards ceremony on the podium, they wore human rights badges on their jackets.Tommie Smith wore a black scarf around his neck to represent black pride. When they were receiving their medals, they took off their shoes, and only had their black socks on. They each raised their hand in solidarity with the African American community. 

Raising their fist was to symbolize that there was grave injustice in America against the African American community.They exposed themselves to the world and protested against racism in America. Tommie Smith said in an interview that “If I win, I am American, not a black American. But if I did something bad I would be black". 

Soon after African Americans would start to dominate sports in America. With Muhammed Ali, Mike Tyson, and Micheal Jordan leading the race, black sportspersons came to the forefront in American sports culture. 

They were not just athletes, but legends of the game. Muhammed Ali is famous for speaking out against racism. In 1971, Muhammed Ali had an interview in which he sadly talked about “Why is everything White”.

Let's fast forward to the 21st century, Raheem Sterling, a famous football player from England became a victim of race-driven hatred when he was taunted with racist comments both during the game and also outside the playing arena. 

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Colin Kaepernick (in the middle) was one of the first to raise his voice         credits:fivethirtyeight

The NBA is meant to resume in July in Disney World Orlando where the players would be in a bio-secure bubble. But two famous NBA players in the form of Kyrie Irving to Dwight Howard have come out against the resumption of the league as they believe that it would be detrimental to what has been happening with the Black Lives Matter protests. 

In conclusion, what can the sporting world, sporting committees, and fans do to eradicate racism in sports? 

Well, it is a team effort and I think that sports clubs and communities should enforce tougher rules & regulations with any events of racism that may occur. In addition to this, they may also enforce strict punishment against any such activity.

For example, there has been the creation of show racism the red card. This charity was designed to help athletes who play at a high level of competition to help teach the players what they can do to help educate people about racism. 

The creation of such organizations helps with reducing racism as people become more aware and start to act more responsible. What players and coaching staff can get down on one knee to show solidarity and support for the Black Lives Matter movement. 

By doing this they are helping to educate the fellow viewers and general fans of the game. Sports has the ability to be the platform to bring people together and help deal with the threat of racism.

Cover image credits: The Guardian    

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