The dominance of black athletes in Sport.

Essay by suzanna_pUniversity, Bachelor's October 2003

download word file, 5 pages 1.4 1 reviews

Downloaded 100 times

The pre-dominance of black athletes in world sprinting is blatant, but the argument still occurs, is it due to their biological and genetic make-up, or is their ability to dominate in the world class sprinting, because they have been shaped by the societies from which they come? This will be argued.

This is an ongoing debate since the uprising of black athletes from around 1945 when the Supreme Court decided to make racial segregation illegal. (J. Coakley sport in society 1986) Whether the history of black participation in sport can ever be regained is debatable; in the case of males it has been blurred by traditions in racism. (J.Coakley 1986)

Desegregation at the level of professional sport is a phenomenon that has been illegal since 1954. People of African descent remain represented in professional sports in America, especially track and Field events such as sprinting. There is no dispute about the obvious domination of world class sprinting by Afro-Americans and Africans.

The development seen in the dramatic ascent of the black athlete in the 20th century has been linear.

A close look at the reasons for this presents a wide range of different theories by credible and not so credible scientists, anthropologists and sociologists, to name a few. One of the main arguments is that black sprinters are dominant due to their stronger sense of perseverance.

John George states

Due to social environment and subcultural norms regarding certain types of athletic prowess, some blacks may be more driven than whites-also because for many, this has been one of the few ways out of an oppressive situation. Black sportsmen may also find their perseverance for success driven by the yearning for retribution against whites for the slavery that occurred so long ago.


Here arises the great debate of nature versus...