Essay on Racism in Sport: How It Began
Every single day people are judged for the way they walk, talk, or even act. Along with being judged for those things they also get judged by the color of their skin. Sports are often thought of as a fun activity that people love to do. Although in the early 1900s the only people happy about sports were white men. White men were the only people allowed to play in a pro sport. This all changed when two people took a huge leap forward to what in today's world is “normal”. Although in the past couple years' racism has come back with a vengeance starting more controversy than anything. Racism in sports accrued in the 19th century although people like Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey helped to break the color barrier racism still continues to this day.
In the 19th century, blacks weren't allowed to play in any pro sports. Most sports were considered just a white man’s game with no exceptions. Jackie Robinson the first black baseball player stated that “Blacks played in the “Negro Leagues”, which developed after the 1900s as an alternative to the segregated white game” (Jackie Robinson). This shows that blacks and whites were not allowed to play together. When segregation in sports finally ended around the 1950s there was still many rules put in place. If a team had a black player on it the player or possibly the whole team had to stay in a different hotel or stay on the bus if the hotel didn't allow blacks. Up until 1954 when segregation laws were banished this continued causing fights all around the country. These black players kept their cool which was huge because it meant that they were able to keep playing the game that they loved.
Many people played a huge part in helping to break the color barrier. People like Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson helped their sport get over this hard time. Branch Rickey was the Brooklyn Dodgers owner when he decided he had had enough of segregation. Branch said, “Ethnic prejudice has no place in sports, and baseball must recognize that truth if it is to maintain stature as a national game”(Branch Rickey). This statement means that he believes baseball won't exist if segregation doesn't stop. The way he started this new thinking was by signing Jackie Robinson who became the first black baseball player in the MLB. Jackie went through a lot of trouble with being called names and having his family harassed. Even though all of this stuff went on in his life he pushed through it and didn't fight back because if the did it would show that he is just what they think he is, an ungrateful and aggressive person.
In today's sports racism is at a minimum. Hardly anybody gets called names and threatening a family would certainly land someone in jail. Although racism has decreased it is still around and very much alive. “According to research from the University of Central Flordia’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in sports, acts of racism in sports in the U.S increased from 31 in 2016 to 41 in 2017. Internally, there were 79 acts in sports.”(Richard Lapchick). This shows that racism had increased from 2016 to 2017 for some reason. Athletes like Colin Kaepernick used athlete activism by kneeling during the national anthem of football games. The thought is that if more people do this it will make people realize what's going on. The fact that racism is still in today’s culture shows that it needs to be recognized so we can fix this problem before it gets worse.
All together racism in sports accrued widely through the 19th century although people like Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey helped to break the color barrier racism still continues to this day. Without brave people in this world, we would never know where this world would be. Some of the greatest sports players in the world were and still are black. A life without them means different rules, records, and many other important things we have today. Since racism continues everybody has to understand the times that happen in the 19th century to ensure that things like that don't happen again. We all are in a time of getting along and accepting people for who they are. The last thing we want to do is move back in time to when everything was wrong.