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Unformatted text preview: HEY STUD: RACE, SEX, AND SPORTS Earl S m i t h a n d A n g e l a J. H a t t e r y Department o f Sociology Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, N C 27109 This article is an examination of how the intersection of sport and race plays out in the sexualization of the sporting role of African American male athletes. Further, the article is an examination of the multiple roles the media, sport, and race play as these impact the public persona of African American male athletes in high-profile sports. The article concludes with a number of recommen- dations for ending the negative images of African American male athletes. To the white public, we are athletes, rappers, preachers, singers--and pre- cious little else. We are also robbers, rapists, mentally deficient and sexu- ally well endowed. --Ellis Cose, The Envy of the World." On Being a Black Man in America (2002; New York: Washington Square Press, 3-4) First of all, let me say good after.., good late afternoon. Because of the HIV virus I have attained, I will have to announce my retirement from the Lakers today. I just want to make clear, first of all, that I do not have the AIDS disease, because I know a lot of you want to know that, but the HIV virus. My wife is fine, she's negative, so no problem with her. I plan on going on, living for a long time, bugging you guys like I always have. So you'll see me around. I plan on being with the Lakers and the league-- hopefully [Commissioner] David [Stern] will have me for a while--and going on with my life. I guess now I get to enjoy some of the other sides of living--that [were missed] because of the season and the long practices and so on. I just want to say that I'm going to miss playing. And I will now become a spokesman for the HIV virus because I want people, young people, to realize they can practice safe sex. And, you know, sometimes you're a little naive about it and you think it could never happen to you. You only thought it could happen to, you know, other people and so on and on. And it has happened. --Magic Johnson--Press Conference at L.A. Lakers Compound Washington Post, November 9, 1991 Sexuality & Culture, Spring 2006, Vol. 10. No. 2, pp. 3-32. 3 4 Sexuality & Culture / Spring 2006 Introduction This paper is an examination of how the intersection of sport and race plays out in the sexualization of the sporting role of Af- rican American Male Athletes. In particular we focus on three specific issues at this intersection: (1) black-white relationships, (2) uncommitted sexual behavior and consequent paternity issues, and (3) sexual violence. Who can doubt that the intersection of sport and society and the high visibility of sport have taken place, not in spite of, but because of the athletic abilities and exceptional athletic feats per- formed by the African American male athlete, from Satchel Paige to Bo Jackson? The African American male athlete has not only significantly shaped the trajectory of certain sports (namely foot- ball, basketball, baseball, and boxing) but indeed individual ath-...
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This note was uploaded on 10/02/2011 for the course ARTS AND S 90:101:59 taught by Professor Markschuster during the Fall '10 term at Rutgers.
- Fall '10
- Black Like Me