“Puerto Ricans saw sports as an example of the cultural progress promised by the United States.” The article talks a lot about promises made by the U.S and the U.S interest in Puerto Rico during and after the Spanish American War. Of course, there is resistance towards this but underlying the resistance of the United States occupation was a desire to have the sports system that was seen as advanced. That’s where the YMCA comes in. “Instead, they opted to work with the new imperial regime, one that carried the reputation of democracy, freedom, and liberalism in their search for progress. One especially admired feature of US culture was the country’s advanced system of sports, represented in the YMCA.”

These two quotes I believe captured the article’s theme the most. Yes, Puerto Ricans were interested in sports at the time of the Army and Navy YMCA’s arrival in San Juan, but no they were not interested in the occupation and imperialism that the United States was bringing on. Class and race played a role in who was a member and who wasn’t. The richer, more liberal Puerto Ricans surrounding the club enjoyed the access to American culture, but the less fortunate were not able to participate in the enjoyment of the new YMCA. Despite this as well as the disapproval of the Protestants and Catholics in Puerto Rico of the YMCA’s bible teachings, sports programs soared. The article points out that the YMCA wasn’t doing what we might think of as traditional “crusading”, of spreading culture and religion, but instead was promoting this idea of “Muscular Christianity.” “United States, sport has served as an agent of cultural imperialism, skillfully employing the rhetoric of civilization, Christian values, and ‘healthy’ competition.” Using the interest in sports on the island, the YMCA and the United States were using this cultural idea that Christianity and physical fitness went hand in hand with each other. Though sports were what brought people to the YMCA, there was a different motive behind the YMCA in San Juan, promoting United States ideals as a whole. Christianity and evangelicalism was what YMCA members in the United States wanted to push in Puerto Rico, though, “they were “entirely indifferent towards such a [Bible] class or not caring to study the Bible.” but Puerto Ricans did enjoy the flexibility and enjoyment that sports brought, ultimately leading to American ideology infiltrating the island.