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Mack Dalton

Professor Bruner
English 001
13 November 2014

Rough Draft/A Long Road

Racism has been a central theme in sports for decades. The film Glory Road
highlights the struggle faced by African American athletes during the 1960s by
focusing on the Texas Western College mens basketball 1966 national
championship winning team. Throughout the film, the audience is shown various
examples of blatant racism which ran rampant during the mid 20th century; the film
also shows the changes in race relations in America since the time period when it
was set.

The US civil rights movement increased greatly during the 1950s and 60s
partly due to schools becoming desegregated. In the wake of Martin Luther King Jrs
I have a dream speech, the United States and more specifically the southern states
were in a state of civil unrest and racial tension. As a result of the various protests
and public pressure the civil rights act was signed in 1964 which made it illegal to

force segregation of the races in schools, housing or hiring (Racism against


African Americans article).
The example of oppressed African American athletes in Glory Road is just
one of many examples. In baseball during the early 1900s Negro leagues were
established for black baseball players to compete in after they were barred from
competing at a professional level. The Negro leagues were eventually disbanded in
1949, due to an increasing amount of black players being allowed to play for major
league teams. Although in America over time the majority of racism in sports has
been Black/White in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, the US track team pulled two of its
Jewish Athletes over fears that they may win gold and embarrass Adolf Hitler.

If we move forward to the present day it is fairly obvious that the state of
racism not just in America but across the world is far better than it was 60 years
ago. However there have been various incidences over the past few years which
may lead some to question whether racism has been completely eradicated
from sports. Namely, the Donald Sterling incident, which took place in April 2014
when Sterling made racist comments which were recorded and released publicly.
This sparked public outrage, causing NBA commissioner Adam Silver to force
Sterling to sell his team (The LA Clippers). Although this particular incidence may be
an example of racism by one individual, it is also evidence of the lack of public
tolerance for racist behavior which now exists.

Finally, when contrasting the general views of race and acceptance from the
mid 20th century to now, it is clear that the social development of people in America
has been dramatic over the last 60 or so years. Although this may be true, there are
still small groups of people who lead racism to show its ugly head from time to time.
All groups have outcasts who dont follow social norms and customs, it should be
the duty of not only the sporting community in America but society as a whole to
make sure its stays known that racism is unacceptable in this day and age in all
forms.

"Civil Rights Movement." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d.


Web. 14 Nov. 2014.

"Martin Luther King Jr Bibliography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television,


n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2014.

"Glory Road." IMDb. IMDb.com, n.d. Web. 14 Nov. 2014.