Racial Stereotyping

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“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire, the power to unite people that little else has...It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers” (Nelson Mandela). Everyone remembers at some point in their life playing a sport, whether it be in school or to pass the time or on an actual sports team. Even in the case of people who have never played a sport, have at least seen a sport being played. Sports are a way for people from all different backgrounds to connect due to a common interest. Claudia Rankine tells professional sports stories to illustrate that minorities face racism, no matter their status, and in order to survive they must become invisible. Citizen is a way people of all races can …show more content…

While it may happen frequently, there are still a large majority of people who cannot understand this racial prejudice. Sports are a way for people to bond, but they also are the path to change since they span such a wide audience. Take for instance Serena Williams, an African American woman ranked as one of the best tennis players in this generation. While Serena Williams may be a tennis celebrity, she also experiences racial stereotyping and overall hate because of the color of her skin. After winning two medals in the 2012 Olympics, Williams decided to celebrate by dancing, only to see later that the media portrayed her as “immature” and “classes” for her “Crip-Walking all over the most lily-white place in the world”(Rankine 33). This is preciously why Rankine included Serena Williams into Citizen because it illustrates the idea that no matter how successful an African American becomes they will still always be grouped as a “minority.” Serena Williams was only seen the way others wanted to see her, even though time and time again she proved them wrong with her achievements. Later that same year Williams was named the WTA player of the year, yet even as she accomplished more, people still mocked her for her appearance. Dane Caroline Wozniacki imitated William’s “black figure” by stuffing towels into her top and shorts. In the book “Wozniacki’s image of smiling blond goodness posing as the best female tennis player of all time” is the last thing the reader sees in the Serena Williams section (37). While some may say that Williams has accomplished a triad of medals and fans, it doesn’t take away the hurtful words from her mind. In the span of a lifetime there will be many people who are mocked for their appearance, however a majority of these people will never be judged by their skin tone. Williams may be known for her amazing tennis skills now, however she has faced a lot of racial prejudice just to become “visible”.

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