Racial stacking has been an issue throughout the history of sport. Some groups blame the racist past of our Country, Or they may blame it on the natural attributes of the athlete. Black players were discriminated from leading positions due to there color. Quarterbacks were always white, and running backs were all black. Coaches in the past, and maybe today, did not want a N**** to lead their team. On the other side, the athleticism of black athletes was utilized at skill positions. Perceptions of intellectual ability and athletic ability may the result of socio-economical status. I would also suggest that athleticism is genetic. One could argue that their is not a genetical difference between races. However, one can not ignore the difference in data recorded. There is a genetic difference between race that attributes to certain skills. How often do you see black swimmers in olympics? How often do you see olympic sprinters medalist who do not have west african ancestry? How often do you see non east African distance runners place in top 3? How often do you see black olympic lifters? Yes, there are outliers. (Ryan Hall-white american distance runner, Kendrick Farris-african american weightlifter, Cullen Jones-african american silver medalist in swimming).
Another cause to racial stacking, could be that players are choosing positions of the athlete they idolize. They may be direct result of the racial segregation of the past. Players are going to mimic their idols. Their idols most likely will be some one of the same race. Football players of the 40’s may have been discriminated an placed in their position. An athlete from this more modern era may look back an idolize that athlete and choose his position.
Deviance in the eyes of a functionalist is any thing that changes a social practices function in society. Concerning sport, many things have significant contribution or signification contribution in the sports world. The contribution of the practice will be established as a norm, an ongoing contribution. However, if that practice is changed, the contribution and its role in sports society may change. On a larger scale, sports it self has the function of aiding in socialization. As people deviate from the norms of sport, its contribution to socialization may change.
For example, children began social development at a young. The participation in youth sports is intended it aid in socialization. However, youth sports has become more about parents living out old dreams through their child than being active and socializing. Kids are pushed to extreme limits. Top performers are treated better than the average player. Coaches preach perfection and winning rather than learn from mistakes and effort. At young ages, the average performing kids will feel left out and not want to associate with the rest of the team. That creates a decline in the social development of the kid. Social Development was one of youth sports functions in society. Yet, many youth teams are deviating from that. Youth sport’s function is deviating from social development to ,essentially, prep leagues for high school sports.
In recent years, mobile devices have had the fast rise in usage for sports viewing. In 2010, mobile usage a mere 30% in comparison to broadband’s 73%. In 4 years, mobile usage increased a total of 25%. While I am not surprised, it is interesting how attached we are becoming to our phones. I am by no means criticizing our increased usage of mobile devices. (I almost typed this on my phone!) With the increasing involvement of media into the sports world, our phones and tablets have become the proverbial hammer in building the media’s successful relationship with sports. I have the Bleacher Report Team Stream app on my phone. Neilsen reports that it is the 3rd most used app for sports. There is never a moment that i do not have at least 2 updates on my phone. I follow multiple teams from NFL, NBA, BBVA La liga, Barclays premier league, and even the select players who were on my fantasy team.
The NFL is Potential the most marketable league in the Country. Advertisement has even altered how the games are played. Timeouts are given just so that advertisements can be drilled into the minds of audience. Top advertisers like Bud Light, Chevy Silverado, and Verizon draw in hundreds of million of viewers every year. For the Grand finale of the season, the Super Bowl, hundreds of millions of viewers are sucked in for just that one game. The Superbowl isn’t just a competition. It is a game, commercial ad happy hour(or happy 5 hrs), and has 2 concerts. Because Yes!! Americans need Metallica the night before and Cold Play the day of. Did I mention that Bruno Mars and Queen BEE (Beyonce) are making appearances?!. It would be safe to bet 200 million viewers this year. Beyonce brings in the fans.
Money and Economics influences the total operation of the NFL. The concert artist receive 100+ percent increase in album sales after the Superbowl. Because of advertisements, viewers are almost 50% more like to drink beer in the past week, and almost 30% more likely to buy expensive jewelry.
The NFL’s Advertisers heavily pushes forth the tough guy, blue collar mentality. Football , since its beginning has been viewed as a sport for the brute and tough. With advertisers like Chevrolet and Bud light, the blue collar guy has the go-to truck to drive to work and the perfect brew to drink during breaks.
Competition. Team Work. Facing Adversity. Leadership. Willingness to follow a leader. These are values of Sport. These characteristics in my opinion are essential to success in sports and life out side of sports. In Life, you will often compete for jobs with other applicants, overcome obstacles, have to work on team projects. You may have to lead those projects, and have the willingness to follow a co-worker’s lead. These characteristics can be learned beginning in youth sports.
However, playing sport does not guarantee that youth will learn any of these principles. Coaches often do not teach them any more. We are in an age where athletes are given participation Trophies. At a certain age, I believe that idea of participation trophies should be eliminated. However, Coaches should encourage the athlete to set a goal and push towards that goal. Youth athletes should be taught to not settle at just participating but should be taught to compete and face adversity to achieve that goal.
Athletes and even the entire culture of sports have developed a “me, myself, & I” mentality; a mentality that will prevent someone from being a great leader or loyal follower. Basketball is a great example of this. there is less teamwork involved in the game plan. Often plays are ran through isolation plays with the teams star player, thus reducing the role of everybody else on the team. This Star player doesn’t lead, he showboats with flashy moves and does not involve the assistance of his team. Some coaches will encourage this type of attitude.
I have coached high school football for 3 years. In my time, I witnessed failure in every characteristic previously stated. The head coach had his favorites and those favorites developed a selfish attitude. The team team did not learn from their losses. Know true leaders emerged and the boys were unwilling to follow. I have witnessed this during my playing years as well.
Sports are not just game and a source of fun. They are environments and experience for learning and growth. However, social development has to properly guided by the coaches. The integrity of sports ,as a whole, relies on the principles coaches teach there athletes and how those principles (or values) are taught.