Minority Representation in the Sports Media

  • Length: 1508 words (4.3 double-spaced pages)
  • Rating: Excellent
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document

Minority Representation In Media
I chose Jon Entine’s Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports And Why We’re Afraid to Talk About It for my book on minority representation in media. This book embarks on a subject that very few have been willing to discuss openly in the past fifty years. Why is the typical black athlete superior to the white athlete? And why do many feel it is wrong to analyze, discuss, or even wonder about something that seems so evident? This book offers the history behind African American athletes in sports and examines the genetic revolution that follows it. Taboo also addresses the circumstances that have made human biodiversity so difficult to approach.
One theory on why blacks have become more athletic than whites is through evolution and selective breeding. Slave owners wanted the biggest and strongest slaves to work on plantations; therefore a strong black man was mated with a strong black woman. Africans were originally brought to America as a physical specimen. They were expected to work the fields day in and day out. In January of 1988 Jimmy "the Greek" Snyder, a commentator on CBS’s NFL show made a remark about black athletes that cost him his job. Snyder stated, "Think of what the African slaves were forced to endure in this country merely to survive. Black athletes are their descendants"(Entine 72). The comment quickly surfaced through the media and many people were outraged. Snyder was eventually fired from CBS. Although, according to some, his remarks weren’t far off what from what could be the truth. So why were people so furious by these remarks? Saying that blacks and whites are simply different seem to ignite thoughts of racism. People are terrified to comment on this topic because of the repercussions that may occur. But without research and scientific studies there seems to be no way to reach a conclusion to a very controversial, but evident topic, that blacks are better than whites at sports. Entine makes a very strong argument by stating "No other group of Americans in such large numbers has had to pass such rigorous tests of survival as has the Negro"(73). The history of African slaves and the physicality that was required of them only seems relevant to the evolution of the modern black athlete.
Comments about black athletes made by people affiliated with the media are still stirring controversy to this day.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Minority Representation in the Sports Media." 123HelpMe.com. 23 Mar 2018
Title Length Color Rating  
Media Representation of Women in Sports Essay - ... First, discrimination in sports media commentary is still present, albeit highly subtle and no longer overpoweringly oppressive as it was presented in past literature. Nevertheless, the media continues to strongly encourage the sexualization of female athletes. -“Candance Parker is beautiful. Breathtaking, really, with flawless skin, endless legs and a C cup…She is a woman who plays like a man, one of the boys, if the boys had C cups and flawless skin…She’s the total package: your sister’s pal, your brother’s prom date, a supermom-to-be (Glock, 2010).” -These were the words in the opening lines of an ESPN article about WNBA star Candace Parker....   [tags: oppressive, discrimination, cultural ideal] 743 words
(2.1 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Minority Trope Representation in AMC’s The Walking Dead Essay - The Walking Dead is a television show produced by AMC based off the black and white comic books by Robert Kirkman. The show and comic book center around main character Rick Grimes as he learns to cope with life after waking up from a deadly wound into an outbreak of virus wielding undead creatures known as “walkers.” Over the course of season two and season three, the show starts to center around how Rick is able to command the group of survivors and the challenges they face trying to settle down in a safe area....   [tags: token minority, magical negro, racism]
:: 16 Works Cited
2046 words
(5.8 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Media Representation of the Rwandan Genocide Essay - This article considers how the representation of events in the news can serve to shape public opinion or discourage statesmanship. Through the example of the Rwanda Genocide my argument is that representation is constitutive of the ways in which we understand the world and of the hierarchy that currently exists within mainstream media. As (Michael J. Shapiro, 1989) discussed ‘The reason for looking at representational practices in relation to texts, language and modes of interpretation is because it is through these practices that ideas about International Relations are produced’....   [tags: Media ]
:: 14 Works Cited
1186 words
(3.4 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay on Sports Media - Sports of old were merely competitive activities rooted in heroism and romanticism. Sports activities today, however, have no such innocence or simplicity. Currently in America, the activities that make up our sports culture is not only the competitive events themselves but the processes and issues that underlie and surround them. Entwined in our sports culture is the giant business of mass broadcasting. Indeed, sports and the media go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly, like Mickey and Minnie, Darth Vader and Luke....   [tags: Sports]
:: 8 Works Cited
1050 words
(3 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Gender Representaion in the Media Essays - ... Generally, actors have a larger casting rate as compared to actress. Women’s role is to bring charm in the movies and to attract men audience toward the movie. Women are used to catch attention of young audience with body exposer. Now a days, women are playing a key role in every field. Females proved that they can perform all tasks which males can do. We usually talk about equality between men and women, so they should be given equal preference in media. Age and beauty matters a lot for women, young and beautiful women are promoted in movies, advertisements and TV shows....   [tags: inequality, roles, age] 621 words
(1.8 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Shareholder Agreements Mitigate the Majority vs Minority of Agency Problems - Shareholder’s agreements are contractual documents that work as a complement to the constituent documents and that are usually kept secret. They include clauses which intend to level the rights between majority and minority shareholders, so that no single block (majority shareholders) can adopt decisions that would bind or undermine the other block (minority shareholders). These clauses are the rearrangement of voting rights, appointment rights or exit rights, for example. Shareholder agreements allow for the rearranging of voting rights so that in the case of a corporate decision to make fundamental changes such as in the structure, the bylaws or to merge the company, the power is fairly di...   [tags: clauses, incentive, representation]
:: 3 Works Cited
514 words
(1.5 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Representation of a Media Essay examples - Representation of a Media Dyer (1985) said that a Representation is showing something that is “typical”, I see this as being stereotypical, and with American society (the culture I have studied) this is certainly easily seen. The Media shows Americans to be set within specific stereotypes or certain views. America within itself, has many stereotypes some that have been around for years and some newer hybrids. The Media tends to represent America within these stereotypes. Jerry Maguire is a Sports, Drama, romance about a sports manager who cannot commit....   [tags: Papers] 456 words
(1.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on America's Obsession With Sports - World Series, NBA Finals, Final Four, Super Bowl, National Championship, College World Series, The Masters, these are the ultimate competitive goals for both athletes and fans. America loves to watch these highly competitive sporting events. From ancient times to modern day, sports have always been a part of the makeup of our society. Beginning with the Native American sportsmen “who competed for religious, medicinal, and gambling purposes” sports of old and new have continued to change and evolve in our society’s culture (“Sports”)....   [tags: Sports ]
:: 11 Works Cited
2240 words
(6.4 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Minority Representation Essay - Minority Representation The issue of minority representation in special education came into the forefront for educators, parents and politicians during the mid 1990’s. In 1992, Black students accounted for 16 percent of the total U.S. student population, but represented 32 percent of students in programs for mild mental retardation, 29 percent in programs for moderate mental retardation, and 24 percent in programs for serious emotional disturbance (Robertson, Kushner, Starks, & Dreschler, 1994)....   [tags: essays papers] 414 words
(1.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Fallacy of Minority Discrimination in Sports Essay - The Fallacy of Minority Discrimination in Sports When someone flips through the channels on a TV and they happen to pause on a sports game, they will most likely see a small number of white athletes. The next thing that they might see is a commercial trying to tell them that minorities in sports are being discriminated. This is not the case. There is no racial discrimination against minorities in sports. There is a much higher percentage of minorities than White-Americans in more than just one professional sport....   [tags: Argumentative Persuasive Essays] 535 words
(1.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]

This isn’t something that was just happening in the 60’s and 70’s. There seems to be an ongoing theme of racist remarks being made by the mainly white dominant media about black athletes. There also seems to be a very fine line between racism and sports when it pertains to the media. This line has only gotten thinner over the years.
The most recent occurrence of this was by The Golf Channel’s color commentator Kelly Tilghman. Kelly said -- on the air -- that today's young players should "lynch Tiger Woods in a back alley." It was quite unclear what Tilghman actually meant by this remark. Possibly, that the only way for the younger players to overtake Woods’ stronghold on the field of golf was by hurting him. A very poor choice of words, considering what the history of lynching pertains to and that she was saying this about a black athlete.
Another interesting aspect of this story was Tiger Woods’ reaction to the comments. Tiger told the media in an interview that he had known Kelly for 10 years and that she meant no harm with the comment. He felt it was done and over with. However, members of the black community were upset with Woods’ reaction. Many believed that as a black athlete he had an obligation to be more upset and pursue harsher consequences for Tilghman. It is astonishing that these remarks were made not even a year after the firing of Don Imus for racial slurs. Obviously, the sensitivity of this matter is as high as it has ever been. Any remarks made in, or around the media regarding race is most certainly sure to be put under a microscope.
The central theme of Taboo is about black athletic ability and achievement. Entine gives plenty of evidence that suggests that a black athlete’s career will be longer and more prosperous than a white athlete’s. One interesting statistic that was presented was "Blacks have a 1 in 4,000 chance of playing in the NBA. While whites have a 1 in 90,000 chance"(Entine 19). He also provides astonishing evidence of the domination of African-native track-and-field athletes. There is almost a complete absence of white sprinters in the top 100 times in the 100, 200, and 400m races. This cannot be coincidence that different races excel at different sporting events. Entine goes on to state "All of the 32 finalists in the last four Olympic men's 100-meter races are of West African descent. The likelihood of that happening based on population numbers alone-blacks from that region, now living around the globe, represent approximately 8 percent of the world's population-is 0.0000000000000000000000000000000001 percent"(34). This is quite an astounding statistic!
Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports And Why We’re Afraid To Talk About It teaches us that minority representation in sports media and television is becoming more and more diverse. However, the more diverse it is becoming the more prominent misrepresentation and racial slurring has become in the media. After thinking about the title of this paper, it seems somewhat ironic that with the emergence of so many Black and International athletes throughout sports in the United States, Caucasians have become the minority. One of the key points that Entine makes in Taboo is that we as society have an obligation to talk about the lines and colors that separate human races. We shouldn’t be afraid to tackle these issues, no matter how inappropriate the subject may seem. The more, we as humans, are able to discuss and understand racial differences and behavior, the more we are able to learn and benefit from it.
Taboo climbs into evolution itself, and explains how individual differences are not only possible, but expected, from the history of human evolution in different climates and habitats. Different racial groups evolved, and that helped them to survive in their respective environments. It only seems natural that not only intelligence, but physical characteristics as well, would not be equally distributed under considerably varying environments.

Book Review

After reading Jon Entine’s Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports And Why We’re Afraid to Talk About It, I feel it was a very well written and researched book. Taboo went after and challenged a subject that is not easy to openly discuss in this country and it did it without racial stereotypes or slurs. Although, he uses an overpowering amount of statistics and data, that somewhat seems overwhelming to the eye. Some of his data and analysis was quite frankly, over my head. Nonetheless, it was a very interesting and factual book that made you feel OK about talking about minorities in the world of sports and media.
Taboo had 46 total customer reviews on Amazon.com ranging from 1 star (poorest) to 5 stars (highest). As you can see from the chart below, a majority of the online reviews on Amazon were of the highest ratings. Eighteen out of forty-six reviewers gave 5 Stars.

I do not find this surprising considering the amount of research that had to have went into the publication of this book.
La'Tonya Rease Miles (Department of English, University of California, Los Angeles) has a quite negative review of author Jon Entine. She states, “Although Taboo consists of a whopping 340 plus pages (not including end notes), its thesis is simple and altogether unoriginal”(http://www.h-net.msu.edu/reviews). She goes on to further say “Describing himself as curious, but not racist, Entine would like for the reader to believe that because he is interested in science, his argument has no political or ideological motivation”(http://www.h-net.msu.edu/reviews).
In a review on AmericanScientist.org by Paul Achter and Celeste M. Condit (Speech Communication, University of Georgia), the two seem quick to dismiss what I believe is very rational data and analysis. The article states, “If taken seriously, Entine's claims could only support the silliest of propositions. Entine maintains that the "disparity between blacks and whites in sports is at least as pronounced" as the disparity between women and men”(http://www.americanscientist.org/template/BookReviewTypeDetail/assetid/25969).
After reading several reviews online, I can only come to the conclusion that audiences nationwide are simply not ready to debate this topic with an open mind. The reviews seemed bias to what I can only ultimately assume, is a matter of race.

Works Cited
Entine, Jon. Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports and Why We’re Afraid To Talk About It. New York, NY: PublicAffairs, 2000.

H-Net Online. June 2001. Humanities and Social Sciences. 18 February 2008. < http://www.h-net.msu.edu/reviews/showrev.cgi?path=139591055982388>

American Scientist Online. May 2000. The Scientific Research Society. 18 February 2008.

Return to 123HelpMe.com