For this week’s reading I rode the piece about the evolution of boxing and Teddy Roosevelt’s relationship with it. The first thing in the article that stuck out to me was actually the first sentence. The author writes, “Boxing has long been a sport for the lower-classes which, for most of its early history was illegal and practiced in secrecy to avoid arrests.” I had no idea that boxing was illegal early in its history. Although, the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. A sport like boxing doesn’t really resemble a sport if it’s not regulated, so I’m guessing a lot of early boxing fights resembled street fights. It makes sense that most local officials wanted to crack down on that. The second thing that stood out to me was the evolution of boxing’s public perception. The author wrote, “The New York Athletic Club hired Donovan to teach the same sport to upper-class clientele that in earlier generations considered it too barbaric and offensive to their moral sensibilities. These same people now praised boxing’s virtues, seeing it as a way of instilling self-confidence and courage.” This reminds me a lot of the early evolution of soccer that we discussed earlier this semester. Like boxing, soccer went from something that was viewed as a nuisance enjoyed by the lower class to a sport used in elite schools to instill traditional masculine virtues. The last thing that I found interesting was just how blatantly racist Roosevelt was when it came to his public stance on boxing. In discussing Roosevelt’s denouncement of boxing after Jack Johnson won the heavyweight title, the author states, “In making his declaration against boxing, Roosevelt conveniently forgot that a year earlier he welcomed the lightweight boxing champion Oscar “The Battling Nelson” Nielsen—who was white—into the White House as his guest, even sending him away with an autographed photo.” The author goes on to say that after Johnson lost the title to a white man, Roosevelt immediately went back to being one of the sport’s most powerful advocates. It doesn’t surprise me that Roosevelt was a huge racist given the time period, but it is a little surprising to me just how blatant his racism was. I am a little surprised he wasn’t more subtle or diplomatic about it.