The Great Sports Myth Essay

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In our current world, Sports are seen to play a big part in societies around the world and are deemed to have the power to bring people together and build communities. However, the cultural belief that sport can change the world and transcend world problems is deemed by sociologists as not true. This is known as ‘The Great Sports Myth’, and was first opposed by sociologist Jay Coakley, who claimed that it is a myth that sports cannot change the world and transcend world problems and that sports are played on an equal level and that anyone who works hard enough can achieve success, regardless of where they come from, their social class, economic status, or race. Sociologists argue that the Great Sports Myth is an oversimplification of the context …show more content…

J. Coakley (2011) discusses whether an athlete's success is can be altered by the social and cultural factors that surround them such as race, gender, and social class. It is an issue, Coakley says and still continues to be regardless of the fact that racism and sexism in sports are being spoken about more than ever. This issue of social and cultural factors playing a role in the success of an athlete is present in all levels of sports whether that is at grassroots levels or the highest level of professional sports. In a recent study done by Lapchick and Pappas (2014), it was found that children from minority backgrounds' chances of success in sports are affected by their backgrounds, and children from minority backgrounds have a lower chance of success. Furthermore, a study by J.S. Brenner (2003) found that children in high-income bracket families were a lot more likely to take part in and succeed in sports than those in a lower-income bracket. This is simply due to the lack of disposable income readily available to the lower income families, who therefore cannot spend money on sports lessons and equipment for their …show more content…

The Great Sports Myth paints sports in a light that has it transcend politics and cross political barriers when that is not even the case and they are in fact deeply connected and linked with politics and social issues. Coakley discusses the role sports organisations play in the fight against social and political issues. A prominent example of political and social issues being present is the Black Lives Matter movement in sports even as recently as 2021, where before every match played in the Premier League, all 22 players on the pitch, and coaching staff would kneel down on one knee as a showcase of their support for the black community. Although this caused some outrage with some players refusing to kneel, as a whole, it was seen as very positive. Another very well-known example of political and social issues being intertwined with sport is during the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. At these famous games, during the 200-meter sprint medal ceremony, two African American athletes, Tommie Smith & John Carlos, raised their fists into the sky as a symbol of black power and fighting racism in their home country of the United States of America as their national anthem played. In a study done by H. Edwards (2008), the mainstream media and leaders of sports organisations were examined to see the effect the gesture had worldwide. As

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