Racism and racial stereotypes have surrounded sports forever in numerous different ways. In the readings “From Superman to Just a”Boy” and ”3 Days That Rocked the World of Native American Sports Imagery” we see first hand the drastically different ways racism still exists in sports even today.
The first regards to superstar Quarterback (QB) Cam Newton and his actions after his superbowl 50 loss to legend Peyton Manning. Following a game where Newton was subpar from his MVP season standard the loss became too much prompting him to walk out of the post game presser. This prompted criticism all over the media world (as it should) but none more so than former NFL linebacker Bill Romanowski when he said “You will never last in the NFL with that attitude. The world doesn’t revolve around you, boy!”. The key part of this tweet comes with that last word “boy” a term used to undermine and emasculate black men for centuries. This display of clear racism in 2016 is the sad truth that we still have a long way to go to reach any sense of equality. To further this argument you have to look no further than a few years prior when the man on the other side Manning lost his superbowl to the Saints. Following his loss the future first ballot hall of famer promptly left the field shaking no one’s hand and what was the media’s reaction, crickets.
In the second article we are brought to a more recent issue that has prompted positive change already. The Washington franchise previously known as the “Redskins” finally changed their name after years of petitioning. The change comes after prominent revenue generating companies like Nike and Amazon pulled all Redskin affiliated products from their stores until the name was changed. This would have resulted in millions of dollars being lost even over the course of just one year which is unsustainable even for a billionaire owner like Dan Snyder. The question raised here however is was the change made because people are changing or because they were forced to. This is extremely important when you go back to the fact that change wasn’t made until pressure was placed upon the franchise and the fact that as recently as 2013 Snyder said “We will never change the name”. In my personal opinion I can’t believe that this was a change made in good faith with the track record of Snyder. However, the impact of this has already been felt in a positive way for stereotypical norms. Teams like the Indians, Blackhawks, Braves, Chiefs, etc… have been forced to look at themselves under the microscope.
Overall while it is evident changes are being made we have to ask ourselves why they are changing. There is no doubt racism still exists in today’s world and in sports. With people like Romanowski and Snyder in positions of power this is a battle we will all continue to fight.