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Panic sports and the racialized male body

Rowe, D., McKay, J. and Miller, T. (2000) Panic sports and the racialized male body. In: McKay, J., Messner, M.A. and Sabo, D., (eds.) Masculinities, Gender Relations, and Sport. SAGE Publications, pp. 245-262.

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If sex and gender putatively unite white men and men of color, then race and racism divide them. The appeal to "natural superiority" that many men make in regard to women is compromised in the history of white racist ideology, because closeness to "nature" makes black men "inferior" to their white counterparts. But the capacity to transcend nature and the limitations of the bodily world that white racist masculinity champions is occluded in the corporeally dominated realm of sport (and sex). It is here that black men not infrequently claim genetic superiority ("White men can't jump" maybe not in the NBA, where no one jumps very high, but look over at the world of the high jump and pole vault, where truly international contests disclose a different, much whiter, much higher story). White men counter with assertions of mental and moral domination ("Blacks lack leadership skills"-maybe in U.S. sports that deny managerial roles to African Americans, but look over at the history of West Indian cricket, where Frank Worrell's and Clive Lloyd 's reigns as captain disclose a much blacker, cerebrally successful story). The practice of "stacking" in sport, whereby certain roles are distributed according to assumed racial characteristics, is an attempt to reinstitute a sporting hierarchy on other than strictly corporeal grounds.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Publisher: SAGE Publications
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