The Impact Of Racism In Sports

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Throughout history you see and hear about the constant impact that racism had on people, their families and their futures, but many people don’t realise the impact in which racism had on sports. Back in the 1900’s, athletes weren’t only fighting for their right to participate in various sports, they were also fighting for their freedom. (Eke, 2016)
In April of 1933, Adolf Hitler put in place an Aryans only policy which was instituted in all German sporting organisations. Non-Aryan Jews or individuals with Jewish parents were systematically excluded from all German athletic facilities and associations. Professional light heavyweight champion Erich Seelig was removed from the German Boxing Association because of his Jewish heritage. Gretel Bergmann, a world-class high jumper, was also removed from her German club in 1933 then later from Germany’s Olympic team in 1936. Later that year the Olympics were held in Berlin, Germany. (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2018)
Jesse Owens was an African American runner who made a big impact on the future of racism and sport. For Owens, running wasn’t just about winning, even though in the 1936 Olympics he won every race he participated in and broke many records. Running was more of a way to express himself and giving himself a voice. Hitler constantly sent insults to Owens and publicly refused to congratulate him on his success. (Eke, 2016)
Despite the passing of about 80 years, racism is still occurring in all levels of sport.

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