‘Race’, Sport and British Society is the first book to fully explore the dynamics of
racism within sport in Britain. Despite popular belief that sport is an arena free
from the corrosive effects of racism, the reality presents a more complex and
troubling picture. As we start the twenty-first century, racism is still evident in
sport. Racism manifests itself from the playing fields and boardrooms, to the
decisions of sports policy makers and media representations. Sport is also an
arena that far-right nationalists have used in order to promote a xenophobic
version of British identity that excludes Asian and black Britons. Yet, despite
this, sport can also be used to show how Britain is slowly moving towards
becoming a genuinely multi-cultural society.
‘Race’, Sport and British Society argues that until racism is eradicated sport’s meritocratic
ideals will remain unfulfilled. Moreover, the book discusses British
nationalism and considers the increasing significance of the inter-relationship
between ‘race’ and sport to nationalist ideologies. With chapters from some of
Britain’s leading sociologists, educationalists and journalists, it breaks new
ground in showing how discourses of ‘race’ and nation continue to pervade the
field of sports. Chapters cover a wide range of topics, including the manifestation
of racism in football, cricket and rugby, the alleged innate and ‘natural’
sporting superiority of black athletes, the place of the law in regulating racism,
and the importance of the media in perpetuating, and challenging, racial stereotypes.
‘Race’, Sport and British Society issues a timely and important challenge to
those in positions of power to confront bigotry and discrimination so that sport
becomes genuinely open to all.