Jeremy Lin; Sociology of Race & Sports

Sociology of sports is a growing field, and becomes much richer with the incorporation of other streams of sociology, such as the study of race issues.  This opinion piece highlights the experience of being an Asian-American in the field of basketball, a field that is dominated (per the author) by White and African Americans.  There is also some discussion of the hazing that Asian soldiers have experienced, which is an important topic as well, but I am going to focus on the element of sports and race.

Are there sports that are more ethnic for any reason other than socialization? Professional baseball seems to have a high percent of  Latino/Hispanic players, especially as compared to other sports. Professional hockey is almost a joke in how blindingly white both the playing arena and the players are.  American football (which I think should be called handegg since it is played primarily with the hands and the item looks like an egg, not a ball) seems to fall into the White-Black spectrum that Liu refers to when discussing basketball. Cricket, which came out of the UK, seems to be played now primarily by Indians and Pakistanis (which goes into the area of sports and nationalism, another fascinating topic).

In my observation, the only sport that seems to have a universal representation ethnically speaking is soccer (known to the rest of the
world as football).  There have been successful and important players of  many shapes and colors.  Perhaps other sports leagues should aspire to the universality that soccer exhibits?

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