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Noting that 95 percent of all sports team owners are white, while their teams' athletes are for the most part black, Shropshire (Legal Studies/Wharton School, Univ. of Pennsylvania) reveals the many reasons why pro and college sports remain under the control of what is essentially a white old boys' network. These include prevailing racial images and myths, white racism, black apathy, athletes' and owners' self-interest. In addition to identifying the problem, Shropshire proposes several remedies. Some, such as reforming college sports admission policies (by dropping the use of standardized aptitude tests as a means of judging students for admission and eliminating freshman eligibility) seem simple, bordering on the obvious, and they have been raised before, but decision makers have yet to embrace them. Other proposals seem less probable, including the boycott by athletes of some major sports events, the utilization of additional resources to improve America's high schools, and a program to wean society away from the creation and worship of sports heroes: "A white kid tries to become President," Shropshire writes, "and the skills and knowledge he picks up on the way can be used in a thousand different jobs. A black kid tries to become Willie Mays and all the tools he picks up are useless to him if he doesn't become Willie Mays."
Despite the author's conjecturing and frequent overreliance on obscure legal examples, this is a solid, well-argued, and important study. Anyone desiring to be informed about race issues and sports should read it.
"A prominent sports-law specialist sends down an indictment of racism in sports that is impossible to ignore. Anyone desiring to be informed about race issues and sports should read it."
"A new standard of excellence in writing about sports in America begins with this book. Shropshire has approached his task with unique skill, passion, seriousness, and intelligence."
-Houston A. Baker, Jr.,University of Pennsylvania
"In Black and White hits harder than Lawrence Taylor. A how-to manual not only for sports but society as well. It should be required reading for every incoming freshman."
-James Lofton,former NFL All Pro, NBC Broadcaster
"This is not merely a screed on sports' lagging track record in combating racism. Shropshire provides workable solutions for bringing more minorities into the coaching and business ends of athletics."
-USA Today Baseball Weekly,
|Preface: Sports, Race, and Scholarship|
|Introduction: The Realities of Racism and Discrimination in America||1|
|1||The Roots of Racism and Discrimination in Sports||20|
|2||Sitting in with the "Good Old Boys": Ownership||36|
|3||The Front Office and Antidiscrimination Law||62|
|4||"Fear of a Black Planet": The Front Office||76|
|5||Color-Blind Propositions: The Collegiate Ranks||103|
|6||"The White Man's Ice is Colder, His Sugar Sweeter, His Water Wetter, His Medicine Better": Sports Agents||128|
|7||The Next Millennium||142|