The twenty-first century has been living in a world where they believe strongly that racism is no longer in existence. Nevertheless, racism is an issue that is in existence significantly globally. A great number of people remain ignorant to very particular displays as well as incidents of actions pointing towards racism against individuals of the various races which are still occurring daily.
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Miller defines racism as a belief that individuals of different races hold and own distinctly different abilities as well as qualities; and a number of the races stand as inherently in inferior, or the total opposite, superior (6). Racism, therefore as discrimination has been adamant and persisted within society. According to Miller, racism also exists in sports and occurs in both teams as well as individual sports all over the world (9). However, it is vital to note that a sport by itself is not an inducer of racism.
Moreover, sports were intended to be more of ‘colorblind’ based activity which adhered to policies of fairness in play. Nevertheless, racism in sports has grown into an issue manifested globally. It has substantially led to quite a number of incidents that were highly controversial. It is interesting to note that debate is arising and growing arguing that racism in sports has grown into a significant issue as a result of the media’s excessive focus on it to conform it into one.
A huge spotlight has been lit on sports significantly brighter than the earlier years; the heightened focus is not levered towards the scores but also on the recruitment process as well as the development of a team. Therefore, a critical look is undertaken challenging the process of recruitment of players in a team in the sports world. Thus, to effectively tackle the issue of racism in sports, team managers, as well as coaches, should begin not having race as a primary factor in choosing a team’s players.
The team managers together with coaches instead of placing race as a priority in choosing a team’s player should consider key factors and features vital to a player. These key factors are usually beneficial and vital for the quality as well as the growth of a good sports team.
First of all, the team managers and coaches should put in regard to the experience of the player. Players may be from various ethnic as well as racial origins, but the level of experience in the sport may defer. The racial background does not influence or determine the level of experience in a player. When a player has proof of success in previous teams and competitions he or she is more likely to effectively replicate the success of the new team. According to Miller, experience stands as a well-proven track record of success in the sport. Moreover, choosing a player as per his or her experience instead of his or her ethnic or racial background the team is able to significantly save on time as well as costs in the training of the new player. Therefore, choosing a player as per his race will guarantee the team of great talent and saving of costs as well as time.
Secondly, the potential of a player should be prioritized to the race of a player when determining a team (Lomax 14). In sports nowadays young talent is discovered all over the world, individuals from different countries and races portray significant potential in the sport at a very young age. Therefore, team managers together with the team’s coaches should place potential as a key feature in determining a new player for their team. Otherwise, the team could lose a huge number of possible players who are significantly talented due to prioritization of players in regards to their race. For instance, if a hockey team in the NHL discovers a young talented African American hockey player and miss the chance of recruiting him using the perception that hockey is a game better know for the White, then they are likely to have lost a possible player with great potential who would have most likely made the team substantially greater. Thus, choosing a player using his or her race instead of his or her potential could lead to a great loss of a chance to greatness for the sports team.
Thirdly, when determining the recruitment of a new player to a team his or her skills should be taken into crucial consideration. Sadly there are quite a number of teams in the sports world today who still have race as a priority determinant in choosing its players; such teams are more likely to focus on the race and ethnic background of the individual instead of the players’ skills in the sports in question. Forgetting that a player’s skill in a team is the primary factor in determining a teams’ success. A player’s skills are measurable, essential as well as easy to define (Miller 19). Therefore, it is important to note that an individual’s skills set are not determined by their race or ethnic backgrounds. The team managers and coaches picking players as per their race instead of the by consideration of level skills set in order to pick the top cream in the interviewees for their sports team, are most likely biased towards a certain race and do not prioritize on the strength of a player through his or her skills set. Nevertheless, having a biased recruitment team is more likely to lead to a loss of great players to other teams.
Lastly, the recruitment of new team players should put into consideration the leadership capabilities of the player. When determining a player by their race the sports team is more likely to lose great potential leaders and captains for their teams to the bias. According to Lomax, a player should exhume a certain level of leadership skills in their personality and even though their previous experience (15). A good player should be able to have good communication skills, be the positive influence, be able to take risks, be time conscious as well as be diligent in his own training. A player exhuming characteristics of a good leader is important in ensuring a great balance in a sports team. Therefore, restricting a player of good leadership skills to join a team, only serves negatively for the team.
Despite all these arguments towards eliminating race as a key factor in choosing a player for a sports team, a great debate has begun arising towards favoring race as a factor in choosing a player in regards to their race. Miller explains that when dealing with races in sports the term ‘natural’ differences emerges; natural differences are more often than not utilized in making explanations and determining a talented person’s of a particular race (19). Nevertheless, these differences are practically determined and may often be identified as different aspects of individuals may most likely lead towards success in a particular sport, and individuals who are not. For instance, the popular perception is that African Americans have the capabilities to jump higher as well as run faster as compared to Caucasians, due to their genetic makeup which may be proved as well as generalizing an entire race. Miller, however, points out that these differences, as well as assumptions, remains passed down through the generations (20).
All in all, race is a significant factor in sports thus fueling the issue and growth of racism in sports in the twenty-first century. However, team managers, as well as coaches, should not put race as a key factor when determining players to recruit into the sports teams. Instead, when determining a new player to be recruited into a sports team the recruitment team should put into consideration the experience, potential, skills as well as leadership capabilities of a player; thus ensuring the effective growth, development and success of teams in the sports world.
Lomax, Michael E. Sports and the Racial Divide: African American and Latino Experience in an Era of Change. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2008. Print.
Miller, Tracy. Equality in Sports. Minneapolis, MN: ABDO Publishing Company, 2014. Print.
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