The Black Man’s Game

Question: How is power present in Basketball in relation to racial stereotypes and what role does media play in relation to power and militarization of the sport?

My first source is by James Koch who talks about the discrimination within the basketball, and the stereotypes that go along with the sport. I wanted to approach basketball from this perspective because when I chose basketball as my sport the one thing that astonished me was the reaction people had toward black males in the sport. I wanted to write about the power play that occurs between black men and white men within the sport. Koch goes further and talks about the pay difference between white and black men, and how this is reflected by what society expects to see. Koch tries to advocate that it has to also do with what people are willing to publicize. Within cities that have prominently more black people, will in turn have basketball teams that are made up of black people. On the other hand if you’re in a city where there are more white people your home basketball team will be made up of more white people than black.

My second source is by Jeff Stone, he conducts research about why it is that black men are seen to be the “better” basketball player while white men are seen to be the “smarter” individual within the game. This will help support the conversation of power play with stereotypes. Stone takes a moment to first recognize what stereotypes are and how they are formed, which I think is an important aspect of my paper. Before stating all the stereotypes that are present in the basketball culture I want first present how they arise in the first place. Stone finds the problems with thinking that “Black men have more athletic ability and are better at playing tbe game of basketball, but White men can contribute because they are more intelligent and make up for their lack of physical ability through effort,” through statistics and psychologist analysis.

My third source is by Thomas Oates, he writes about the media in relation to basketball, and the role marketing and endorsements play within the sport. The piece further talks about how Yao Ming becomes this new face of NBA and the nationalism it brings. This piece can also bring up the ideas about globalization and how America established NBA within other countries almost marking their territories. Yao Mink establishes this celebrity image and crafts the appeal of Asian-American which reaches China, and they feel this need to also globalize their country through this militarization of the sport, competing and publicizing the CBA, Chinese Basketball Association. Not only does this occur through Yao Ming, but because America becomes so invested in his image as a presence of the NBA and he becomes the “entrepreneurial machine, generating wealth for himself as well as for his agents, handlers, managers, sponsors, team, league and, broadly speaking, the institutions of commercialized sport,” when he fails to reach those expectation in his performance on the court he receives minimal criticism which can be a subtopic of nationalism within the research paper.

Works Cited

Koch, James V., and C. Warren Vander Hill. “Is There Discrimination In The “Black Man’s Game”?.” Social Science Quarterly (University Of Texas Press) 69.1 (1988): 83-94. Academic Search Premier. Web. 28 Feb. 2014.

Oates, Thomas, and Judy Polumbaum. “Agile Big Man: The Flexible Marketing Of Yao Ming.” Pacific Affairs 77.2 (2004): 187-210. Academic Search Premier. Web. 28 Feb. 2014.

Stone, Jeff, Zachary W. Perry, and John M. Darley. “”White Men Can’t Jump”: Evidence For The Perceptual Confirmation Of Racial Stereotypes Following A Basketball Game.” Basic & Applied Social Psychology 19.3 (1997): 291-306. Academic Search Premier. Web. 28 Feb. 2014.

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1 Response to The Black Man’s Game

  1. Sarah McCullough says:

    One thing that I notice about your sources is that they span a significant amount of time. Did you do this intentionally? How do you think newer research might change (or not) the analysis? I like how you clearly showed the value of each article for your research.

    There is significant research on the ways that commentators reinforce the divide mentioned in the second article between white players being characterized as “hard-working” whereas black basketball players are often described as “talented.” This might be a good supplement if you wish to take your research in this direction.

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