White Sports/Black Sports
Racial Disparities in Athletic Programs
by Lori Latrice Martin
March 2015, 209pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-0053-5
$65, £50, 57€, A90
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eBook Available: 978-1-4408-0054-2
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Racial socialization in sports is evident at the youth, collegiate, and professional levels.

The racial makeup of sports in the United States serves as a classic example of racism in the 21st century. This book examines the racial disparities in sports and the continuing significance of race in 21st-century America, debunking the myth of a 'postracial society.'

Sports can serve as an inspirational example of what can be achieved through hard work and perseverance, regardless of one’s race. However, there is plenty of evidence that race still plays a major role in sports, and that sports are key agents of racial socialization. White Sports/Black Sports: Racial Disparities in Athletic Programs challenges the idea that America has moved beyond racial discrimination and identifies the obvious and subtle ways in which racial identities and athletic determinism affect non-white individuals in the world of sports.

Author Lori Latrice Martin gives readers a keen awareness of the issues, allowing them to see the links between sports and society as a whole and to perceive that the issues surrounding racism in sports impact people in every realm of life and are not limited to the playing field. She discusses how the media acts as an agent of racial socialization in sports, documents how historical stereotypes of minorities still exist, and looks closely at racial socialization in sports, including basketball, baseball, and football, exposing how blacks remained under-represented in most sports, especially among front office administrators, owners, coaches, and managers. This work serves undergraduate and graduate students in the social sciences to enhance their understanding of minority and majority group relationships and appeals to general readers interested in the history of race and sports in America.


  • Examines how race and sports are powerful social constructions
  • Presents examples of how sports can serve as both a liberating and an oppressive force
  • Explains how sports influence and are influenced by society and the ways in which institutional barriers and personal practices perpetuate racism in sports and in the society at large
  • Documents how historic racial stereotypes, such as the "brute" and "sapphire" caricatures, are alive and well in the world of sports
Lori Latrice Martin, PhD, is associate professor of sociology and African and African American studies at Louisiana State University. Her published works include Praeger's Out of Bounds: Racism and the Black Athlete. Martin holds a doctorate in sociology from University at Albany, State University of New York.


2015 Outstanding Academic Title—Choice, January 1, 2016


"In this important work about the racial dynamics that shape understandings of sport in the US, Martin offers a thoroughly researched and insightful examination of a sport system that left behind the racial segregation of Jim Crow but left intact many of the underlying assumptions that fuel institutional racism. . . . Arguing that "the role of race is not tangential, it is foundational” (emphasis Martin's), she provides readers with clear and cogent examples of how sport, as an agent of racial socialization, works to maintain the status quo, thwarting efforts to move beyond race by reinventing, repackaging, and reproducing conceptions of whiteness and blackness. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers."—Choice, November 2, 2015
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