The countries that have been significantly affected by sports and racism are Brazil and America. During the ancient times, which incorporates of the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century. For Brazil, the native activity has been common and known to many in sports. In America, some of the areas such as Mexico have been affected by racism. The same case when it comes to racism in America. Racism is an overall act that cannot be specified to be affecting a single area. However, it was rampant in America than Brazil since with time the spread slowed down in Brazil America. These are some of the key things that will help you know the right take in these matters in shaping the identification of different countries, may it be America or Brazil.


Sports in Brazil

Brazil is one of the countries that has been known as the origin of football. This argument is something that has drawn attention to many. Football was first introduced in Brazil in the late eighteenth century (Wood, D. (2019). This was so after the first student, Miller was induced to Bannister’s school at the age of 10. At a young age, he was curious and was into learning more about football. With the interest, he got the football interest. This marked the birth of football in Brazil. With this exposure, Miller became more experienced in dribbling, swerving, feigning, and use of speed in free kicks and heading. With this, he had the chance of interacting with clubs in 1892. On his return in 1888 at home. He brought back some of the equipment and the book rules that showed what they had to do when they were playing the game.

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For years, Brazilian football has been the hallmark of professional football across the globe. The world’s most renowned talented footballers have Brazilian descent. However, there is a story behind the success of the sport in Brazil. This work explores the relationship between the themes of sports, sovereignty, class and racial struggles, and the Italo-Brazilian footballers.

As espoused in the text, we see pieces of evidence of racial and class struggles. The football clubs were being formed based on the foreign communes and for locals to be incorporated, they had to satisfy some level of affluence. It was, therefore, unusual to find the people of color, and women actively participating in soccer. Germania (for the Germans), Portuguesa de Desportos, and Sports Club Syrio are some of the elite sports clubs formed in Sao Paulo. The elitist vision of an exclusivist sporting practice shows how the less affluent communities were disadvantaged.

Since the footballing instructions were also in English, there was a language barrier that further drove a wedge between the elite (and middle-class communities) and the poor communities. Financial barriers, brought about by poverty. As a result, talented soccer players from poor backgrounds were denied the chance to play first-class football and access to their facilities. Italian community was among the affected party. As much as Europhilia was deep-rooted, Northern European players were swiftly accommodated over the Southerners like Italians.

With the tough conditions and other harsh ordeals suffered by the Italians, they devoted themselves to working their ways up to the top through soccer. Unlike their fellow European counterparts, Italians had to first endure the low-income jobs, insecurity, besides other arduous conditions when they immigrated to Brazil. They formed the Palestra Italia Club that struggled for 7 years (between 1910 and 1917) before finding its way into the Sao Paulo League. Despite the tough tides, they established a significant economic presence in Sao Paulo owning the largest quantities of agricultural assets. 

By 1930, the Italian influence was more than just a club business. They helped establish prominent names in the Brazilian national team squad. Fabrini, Grimaldi, Rico, Fabio, Barbuy, and Luciano are among the players who made Palestra Italia more than just a name. The use of Portuguese for footballing instructions created room for the inclusion of the disadvantaged players, albeit grudgingly, and fostered national unity in Brazil. The Italians also made sure that it was not just an ‘Italian Affair’ but an Italo-Brazilian unity.

With the rise of professionalism, most Brazilian-born Italians emigrated to Italy and other European nations. Their accommodation was not swift as they took most positions that the native Italians assumed were rightfully theirs. Migrants and their children are considered as consumers, politically affiliated, or even soldiers in their fatherland. On the flip side, it appeared to the Brazilians as if the Italians had an anterior motive when nurturing players in Brazil. The dilemma arises as we cannot categorize where the loyalties of these Italo-Brazilian players lie.

A short period before the 2014 World cup- which was to be held in Brazil- Mano Menezes was appointed as the manager of Brazil’s national soccer. Brazil is undoubtedly the top soccer nation and for this reason, fans around the world were excited about his prospects. The phrase ‘Brazilian flair” has been used over the years when describing any good dribble or skillful pass. As the winners of the first three World Cup, 1994 and 2002 world cups, Brazil is the most successful nation. They have never missed a world cup tournament- the only country to achieve this. Soccer is the identity of the nation.

During the time of uncertainty, late 19th century and early 20th, Brazil’s modernity and the race were taking shape, and soccer was introduced into the country by European nations and America. The country was undergoing transition, and this affected artists, intellectuals, and politicians; hence they accepted the European model of modern civilization. In Brazil, soccer is very often a national debate, with the journalist, players, and other officials being a significant percentage of the country’s population. In the 20th century, soccer became a ‘Brazil thing’ by itself, where more people were watching and playing. The futebol language became a popular and brasilidade concept; a mixture of Amerindians, Africans, and European cultures was conceived.

As the 20th century aged, soccer gained more and more popularity, with the men’s national team becoming more successful. In the 1950s, Brazil had created a unique style of play that help them win major tournaments, Pele being their star player- arguably the greatest of all time. Brazilian history has helped in the evolution of the sense of exceptionalism, and it has served as a realm on Brazilians’ sense of a distinct and integrated nationality.  

Racism was evident in the early stages of football in Brazil but has slowed down as more black players have become world-beaters. In the 19th century, a journalist argued that Brazilian soccer was deteriorating because the team had few Afro-Brazilian players who learned soccer by playing in pickup games. Also, in the early 1990s, blacks who claimed to be the source of futebol were seen as potential criminals by the press and the national government.

Another theme that dominates this week’s reading is sports and culture. European countries such as the English and Spanish partly influential in introducing soccer and volleyball to Brazil. Since then, soccer has been the primary sport in the country. Interestingly, you will find a lot of people who believe the sport originated in the country. This goes to show just how far Brazil has come.

Cuba has been a country that has undergone a lot of development and pullbacks over the past decades. Putting into consideration the exposure that they have heard with the world superpowers and the knowledge that they acquired from the interaction. Among some of the significant areas, altered were the sports and religious sectors. However, in every developing or a developed country or state, there has to be some pullback. In some segments of the game, especially the eighteenth and the nineteenth century, there were areas that racism was present. This arose because white supremacists felt that Brazil was a superpower in South America since the Spanish and Americans had settled in the country. Not forgetting the fact about the music, whereby the whites danced the music and replaced the old African dance so that they could dance in their parties. The struggle of religion was evident. Catholicism was dominant though had some competitors since it struggled to compete with the powerful and elaborate native religion and the religious order. These points will elaborate on some of the things that will show the main factors under each of the factors, which are religion, sports, and racism.

Sports is a dominant theme in this week’s readings. The history of baseball in Cuba dates back to the nineteenth century. It was introduced by the crew of an American ship, which was down for repairs. The game was played in Cuba way before.  However, its rules were first set by the members of the crew. The baseball had most of the players being black the reason being that most of the Matanzas’s residents were black. Since most of the students who went to study in America brought the game after graduating, the game became more predominant. The game was in Matanzas was considered to be maturing during 1870 which was the period when true clubs were formed.

Racism is a theme that has also been featured in this week’s material. The whites who participated in the game were reluctant to interact with black as they did not want to come into contact with them. This led to the establishment of American clubs that forbade blacks. Besides, the white firms would apply and get contracts regardless of the African firms. In every town, there were the American consuls.

Christianity in Cuba had some shaky foundations. During the eighteenth century, the catholic religion that had the basis of Spanish was trying to fight with the native religion. To verify this, the catholic had built cathedrals in Mexico and Peru to try counter-attack the native religion. However, these efforts did not bear many fruits since the native religion was so strong and had deep firm foundations in the country.

In their book ​Futbolera: A history of Women and Sports in Latin America, ​Brenda Elsey and Joshua Nadel provide the history of women in sports by comparing cases in Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Chile, among other countries. They argue that there has been a rise in the physical education programs for girls. In their arguments, the rise in physical education for girls has been driven by eugenics concepts and the concept of proper motherhood that could have led to the changes in the sports for women. Elsey and Nadel also submitted that the women sports club could thrive beyond the school systems’ confines. These are the ideas that have been responsible for increasing the robustness and development of women leagues or their equivalent across the world. The argument advanced in this work is that women have always been excluded from sports events and activities. The exclusion of women has always acted against the development of women’s physical activities, and this has not always been better in the development of women’s sports events. The black American athletes are known to have had impeccable achievements. However, most of these achievements were being linked to men. Therefore, Elsey and Nadel provided an understanding of how Latin American women have been performing over time in sports.

In the book, women have always been disadvantaged by various factors, including bodily integrity, public space, and lack of access to leisure, mostly due to the exclusion from the national pastimes. The book also submits that in the years between the 1970s and 1980s, when different countries faced military dictatorships, the focus was being turned on women. Moreover, feminist and democratic space was expanding due to the governments’ deliberate efforts to come up with systems that could integrate women and men in different aspects of social lives. The book also submits that today, the mindsets have shifted entirely to face different changes and society’s aspects. Society has developed to overcome some of the activities that were against women being in sports. Initially, the society had not focused on developing behaviors that would permit women to participate equally in different activities, both sports and other social activities. Elsey and Nadel have also presented an understanding of different activities and how the change in the society has been responsible for influencing the women’s space in the development of sports and the development of women in the sports, including access to the leisure facility.

Elsey and Nadel have conducted a proper study and mapped the changes in sports and how women have been slowly integrated into society to practice sports. However, this book fails to interrogate the willingness of women to participate in sports activities. The book has also provided an understanding of how the feminism of the 1970s contributed to the openness and practices vital in understanding different activities. In the 1970s and 1980s, women were subjected to the practices due to the affirmative actions embraced in different parts of the world. However, one of the main issues that have not been interrogated is the role of authoritarian regimes in handling different issues and ensuring that the women participated in these sports. Women can participate in sports activities; however, the main issue that Elsey and Nadel overlooked was the contributions of women and their willingness to participate in sports events. It also failed to look at whether the events were available for women early enough. Critically, Elsey and Nadel have made their decisions based on what had been happening over time.

Elsey and Nadel should have concentrated on the mental preparedness of women to engage in sports activities. It should have interrogated how the preparedness of women contributed to the development of women’s sports events. It should also have looked at how women’s morale was guided and how this was critical in developing different aspects of society.

The development of women in sports can be looked at through the acceptability of the projects promoted and enhanced in different countries at the time. Overall, the book has understood the development of women in sports and how women have become competitive in the process. It has also presented an important aspect of women and sports and looked at how women’s body has changed in the sports industry.

Thomas Smith McNeill

Appalachian State University

In this week’s discussion, I read about the history and influence that America and Youth Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) had on sports and religion in South America; Brazil, and Puerto Rico. Brazil is a country that is rich in sporting history. Their men’s soccer football and women’s volleyball, among others, have been very successful in global competitions. Sporting activities were introduced to Brazil by different European countries, American missionaries, the YMCA, and Germans. The YMCA was crucial in the process as they came into the country as missionaries to spread Christianity. They believe sports go hand in hand with Christian beliefs. On the other hand, Puerto Rico was a colony of Spain before the arrival of Americans. After the Spanish American war in 1898, the Spanish left Puerto Rico. However, the country was already dominated by the catholic society. Americans viewed this as backward and therefore felt they were the bearers of the right and burden to spread Christianity in the country. The YMCA was significant in the spread of Christianity in Puerto Rico because they went in as an army and navy YMCA but still spread Christianity and encouraged physical activities.

The themes that dominate this week were Christianity, sports, and racism. Christianity had an influence on how America found its way into Brazil and Puerto Rico. The main organization that spread Christianity was YMCA which felt that it had the duty to do so. They were allies to the United States’ invasion of Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Philippines. They believed Spanish Catholicism that dominated Puerto Rico at the time was backward. They felt the need to introduce Anglo-Saxon Protestantism which they termed as civilized and culturally progressive. Christianity begot sports in both countries. The general feeling was that spiritual health was tied to physical health. Therefore, sports spread through the region replacing cockfighting and samba dances that were the main source of entertainment in the region. In Puerto Rico, we find a strong theme of racism through the early stages of sports. Black people and women were seen as outsiders in sports. The hierarchy favored ‘Spanish men’. Women would engage in sports, but not during regular hours.

In both readings, When I Fell in Love with Sports History and On Searching for the Latin American Sportswoman and Finding an Argentine Sports Historian, the authors write about how history has impacted them and how sports history is an important factor in that impact. Both writers mention how one mentor led them into a things called “sports history.” For Louis Moore, it was Professor Pitti; and for Patricia Anderson, it was an. article written by Dr. Joseph Arbena. Both Moore and Anderson highlight what sports mean to them and how sports impact their lives, and they do so with different approaches. Moore focusses more on the mentorship aspect of learning sports history while Anderson focusses on the gender differences and the lack of interest on women and sports. 

In When I Fell in Love with Sports History, Moore expounds on how the teaching and learning of sports history is what keeps the subject alive. Sports, as popular as the subject is, has a very deep and vibrant history, however, people tend to only focus on the here and now and do not realize the historical aspects of the topic. Basically, if there were no instructors teaching about the history of sports, then no one would learn about it and the history of sports is not common knowledge. This also relates to Anderson’s article on how she found interest in sports history as it was an article written by Dr. Arbena that caught her eye and sparked interest into sports history. 

In On Searching for the Latin American Sportswoman and Finding an Argentine Sports Historian, Anderson’s story builds on Moore’s concept of needing an instructor and historians educated in the subject to pass along the knowledge of sports history. She discusses the research she did to learn about the history, pointing back to Moore’s discussion on how the information is delivered and that is through books, social media, and digital content.

Both authors knock on the fact that the most common sports history known is the current status of sports teams, such as how many times have the Patriots been to the Super Bowl, or the United States won the World Cup in soccer, or the biggest topic of 2020, the Olympic Games Cancelled due to Covid-19; but no one really knows the history of sports. Both Moore and Anderson found a passion for the subject and want to be sure the knowledge is made available and passed along from generation to generation through research, books, articles, social media, and digital sources.

Howdy, my name is Smith and I am an Electronic Media/Broadcasting Major from Wilkes County North Carolina. I am currently a Junior here at App State and also a member of the App State Cycling Team after graduating High School and Wilkes Community College with my Associates in Arts degree this past spring and transferring here over the summer. I love cycling, Airsoft, filming, editing, and I do a little bit of DJ stuff on the side. I was also the starting goalkeeper at Millers Creek Christian School from 6th grade through 12th grade. I currently work as a soccer referee and assignor (if we ever get back into the sport), at a Christmas Tree lot selling Christmas Trees at Christmas, and I work at Craig Church Ministries as the Media/Broadcast director producing videos, webinars, and live broadcasts on for our weekly show. I also operate a Star Wars Instagram account with it’s own podcast just to let my nerdiness pop out and have some fun (@501stchillzone). I am taking this class because I want to learn a little more about sports and how they impacted America. And since I’ve noticed everyone else commenting on it, my favorite college team is (obviously) App State; professional soccer would be Chicago Fire and Barcelona; football, Washington Redskins (or the Washington Football Team but #HTTR). Can’t wait to have a blast this semester with everyone and I wish I could be in the room with you all, but due to my work, and working in contact with older people, toddlers, and people who come in contact with those at risk I just don’t feel it’s worth risking everyone’s health, and I’m thankful Professor Sibaja has been willing to work with me, and others, to provide this course online and make this possible. Have fun, stay safe, and I will see you guys via zoom!