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Social Injustice and Oppression in Sports

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In sports, are both men and women treated equally? Although there were not as many sports for women years ago, now there are more sports in which women can compete. Currently, women are able to compete in as many sports in which men also compete. Although women are able to compete in sports, I still feel that they are not treated equally as athletes as men

Just recently has a rule been made that in college and high school sports there has to be an equal number of men's sports as there are women's sports. Most often, when some female plays some sport people do not treat her as they would if she did not play sports. Discrimination against women has long been an aspect of American sports, and it took the weight of national law to begin to set the situation straight. Although there have always been superb women athletes, women who competed were viewed, for many years, as being, at the very least, socially inept or incompetent, if not guilty of a variety of moral turpitudes.

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Some Players believe that the leagues, sports and associations are only making the situation worse when they are trying to deal with it, going over the top on certain issues and situations. however when we look at the whole picture we see how the leagues and sports feel as though they have to do something because it is absolutely certain that it is not the image that they want to depict to a youthful society as role models and powerful people to the spectators. If you look back at the past history you will be able to see that black people also known as African-American athletes had to go through some of the toughest of times as sports people/participants and you could say world weren’t supportive with black athletes or athlete on a sports team or participating in a sporting event, so most of that made the African-American community tougher since they were struggling people compared to over races. For example if you take a look at a number or real black sporting legends in the early days you will know how hard it was for them. One of the first evidence of racism was towards Jesse Owens in the Berlin Olympics 1936 who was one of the first black people to be noticed in the Olympics; also he shocked the world by winning 4 gold medals in the Olympics. “Hitler’s Nazi party was in power and persecution of the Jews and others had already begun. However, the IOC insisted that the games should take place. Hitler used the games for propaganda purposes to show the superiority of the German people. The black American athlete Jesse Owens defeated Hitler’s aim by winning four gold medals. Hitler congratulated the German winners but not Owens”

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In modern society, individuals continue to encounter numerous social injustices on the personal, group, institutional, and societal levels (Rothenberg, 2007). This may be why many people desire that more emphasis to be placed on social justice. As a result, over the past several decades, scholars from various fields including economics, education, law, philosophy, psychology, social work, and sociology have given increased attention to social justice. Moreover, as globalization has dramatically impacted society, people now need to socialize, execute their work and live with the diverse individuals that are encountered daily

It is therefore not surprising that many scholars and practitioners have recognized that there is an immediate need to promote diversity and social justice, focusing primarily on equity and social change (Sleeter, 1996). There are many different types of injustices in this society, and there is no exception for the sport field. In fact, mainstream sport, as it is currently structured, reflects and reinforces various hegemonies of oppression and inequality such as racial, gender, sexual orientation, and social class prejudices. Those inequalities and prejudices have negative effects on many aspects of sport.

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Summing up, while the focus is on athlete activism, Thomas noted that athletes who didn’t protest have managed to create an impact off the court. Athletes of the ’80s and ’90s received some criticism for not going out to protest and stand up against racism, but as Thomas puts it, they just fought in their own way. “We have opened these doors, and the goal of someone like Michael Jordan and his generation is to walk through all of those doors and progress as much as possible,” Thomas said

“It is not a protest generation. It is a generation of accomplishment. How do we walk through these doors and keep them open so others can walk behind us?”

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Rothenberg, P. S. (2007). Race, class, and gender in the United States. New York: Worth.

Sleeter, C.E. (1996). Multicultural education as social activism. Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press.

Social Justice. 2014. In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved from http://www.merriamwebster.com/dictionary/social justice.

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