Essay about SportsStigmas ENG96

Submitted By Andrew-Hoang
Words: 921
Pages: 4

Andrew Hoang
Professor Sanelli
English 96
15 Febuary 2015
Sports Stigmas Society has always had an effect on all of our decisions to what sport we “should” play, based on whatever skin color we have, and/or where we are from. Malcom Gladwell makes these connections clearly evident in his article, “The Sports Taboo”, some of which has been translated into multiple social stereotypes, in sports conversations and expectations. Inner cities across America pretty much run the sport of basketball, and you guessed it, the league (the NBA) is basically 65% African American. While some people may argue that the reason for this is that African American’s are just “better at basketball” Gladwell very much disagrees. When it comes to why a certain person is so good at a particular thing/sport Gladwell states there are three large factors that pull more weight than just race (while race/DNA is one of the factors). A person’s work ethic and how into whatever sport, subject, or passion they really are (which is basically all drive related, how bad do you want it?). Genetics’ are also a huge weighing factor regarding anything physically related like sports. Another thing we often times don’t think about that could greatly affect how good anyone is at their chosen passion is, the environment/culture around that person and the time in which they are pursuing their goals. Steve Kerr beat the stereo types with a large investment into one of the factors that made him succeed. “Born of a million practice shots,” Kerr was consistently praised for his work ethic. When he was in the NBA, run by predominantly African Americans at the time (and it still is), people always doubted him purely due to the fact that he was white. “White people can’t jump as high,” “Black people are just faster,” these are just some of the stereotypes Gladwell brings up in his article that also at some point backs up with medical facts. However, this is beyond the point, back to Kerr; he beat the doubters through countless hours of extra practice which he obviously did out of love for the sport. This shows how just “being more into something” than anyone else is, could be a large factor that outweigh others. In Gladwell’s supporting statements about racial advantages specific races have, he backed some of them up with medical facts from research studies. He states that, physically, people of the African American lineage could have some very slight advantages when it comes to sports (they on average have a great bone mass, which indicates to slightly stronger muscle mass). This is how DNA, lineage and genetics could point you into a sport. Black men have slightly higher circulating testosterone and overall a stronger lower body than most races, this explains a slight domination that they have in certain sections of track and field (areas like the high and long jump and some of the shorter distance sprints). It also shows why the NBA is partly run by African American’s. While you don’t need to be African American to be born with a natural born physical advantage you could be any race and be born with out of the ordinary height. This would definitely have you scouted for basketball and if you were natural a “big guy” weight wise this could be a natural indication to play a sport where your size is an advantage (football, rugby etc.). Some kids