Discuss Social issues in sports…………………….
This paper discusses social elements and their influence on sporting activities. The social aspects that have dominated sporting debate include race, ethnicity, religion and social status which have attracted numerous academic researches over the years. This paper will evaluate their impact on the management of sport in the US and the world at large.
Race, Ethnicity and Sport
Sports have been entangled with racial issues in most multi-racial countries, especially in the United States for the last century. Studies indicate that blacks are more physically suited in activities requiring speed and power than their white counterparts, (Edwards, 1972), hence their dominance in major physical sports. This stereotype has impacted on children participation in various sporting activities with most blacks engaging in physical sports, which explains the current sport demographics today.
Ethnicity constitutes cultural heritage of a group of people, which may include sporting activities. Ethnicity is similar to race because they both classify participation based on observable variations among people; however, ethnicity uses social characteristics such as language, customs and nationality rather than skin color to distinguish people participation in sports
Social Class and Sport
Studies have found a strong connection between sports and social class. According to woods (2011), individual’s economic and social status influences the type of sport an individual watch and participates in, hence affecting their chances of success in the sporting activities of their interest.
Religion and Sport
Religion has influenced people’s participation in sporting activities. Some religious beliefs discourage participation in sporting events for they believe that sport distracts people from spiritual mission and is seen as a barrier to religious goals. Protestants reformists believed that human bodies should provide energy for the sole purpose of surviving and not to be spent in leisure activities like sports. However, athletic has been an important activity in most religious festivals, and has been associated with healthy body condition.
Impacts on sporting management
Racial stereotypes in sports have divided people participation in sports, it therefore necessary to come up with a universal approach in developing sports talents amongst all people irrespective of their racial status. The stereotypes and participation in a given sport has resulted in unequal treatment in colleges and the society. All students and youths in the society should be treated equally in areas of sports and education irrespective of their proficiency in a sporting activity.
Impact on sporting participation
College Athletics and athletes: Black college athletes have been motivated greatly by the racial stereotype attached to black dominance in this field of sports. They have been influenced by black athlete legends like Michal Jordan, Jesse Owens among others. College institutions have recruited and offered scholarships to black students which have helped to reduce the inequality gap between the two races. Many black people are benefiting from these stereotypes in terms of education and income generated through sport participation. However, lack of structures, functions and activities in the college sport programs to offer education have impacted negatively on academic performances of black athletes.
Youth Sports participants and coaches:
Coaching in sports among youths should emphasize on individual ability, all youths should be motivated to participate in sports of their choice and develop their talents. This is because any one could be proficient in any sports depending on hard work, talent and interest rather innate and natural abilities.
Positive and negative impacts to society
Sporting has helped to improve the life of many minority people; they have managed to access education through sporting scholarships. Sport participation has helped in building cultural capital and improves health status of sportsmen. Sports have been used to motivate young population by encouraging them to work hard, both in sports and education as was the case for sport legend Jeremy Lin who was successful in sports and education, (Lyles et al, 2012).
Sporting has brought many people to churches hence the associated benefits to the society. Churches continued support of youth sporting programs and instilling religious values of hard work and self discipline has led to many success stories among the youths.
The success of blacks in sporting activities may devalue education in minds of black children who may think that excelling in sport is more important than education. The stereotypes has led to unnecessary separation of sports along social lines, for instance, swimming and tennis for whites and athletics for blacks, this is unfair for it kills talents among children, and this calls for the need to promote all sports to all groups of people.
Spectators in sports takes social dimensions leading to formation of hooliganism in sports. These groups of hooliganism are formed on the basis of social class, race and ethnicity. There is great variations in spectators based on social class of people, for instance golf spectators are basically people belonging to high social class whereas soccer is associated with middle and low class people. Sport management should popularize all kinds of sports to all people.
Own personal sport participation.
My sporting participation will be based on my ability rather than on stereotypes. This is because hard work and interest that influences my performances rather beliefs. All are equal and can participate in any sporting events.
Social aspects have influenced individual participation in sports for many years. However, although social aspects have negatively impacted on development of talents and sport participation, it has also contributed to equality among the blacks and white population of America. This is because it has motivated young blacks into working hard in sports and education; which was supported by colleges and religious scholarships to talented black sportsmen and women. However, sport management should endeavor to eradicate social stereotypes in sports as away of promoting sports in all people irrespective of their social groups and characteristics.
Edwards, Harry. (1972, March). The myth of the racially superior athlete. Intellectual Digest, 2, 58-60.
Woods, R. (2011). Social Issues in Sport. (2nd ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
Lyles. T, Jake. S and Richmond. K (2012): Race, ethnicity and sports, at http/www.youtube.com
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