Boxing in Black and White: A Statistical Study of Race in the Ring, 1949-1983
Professional sports in America offer numerous examples of equal opportunity and broken down racial barriers. These developments call for pride and celebration. Yet skin color continues to have an influence in how Americans experience sport. From Al Campanis' statement about the under-representation of blacks in baseball front offices to the almost exclusively white ownership of professional teams, one sees that sports, though admirably more equitable than other societal institutions, are hardly a colorblind American pursuit. Choosing the racially charged sport of boxing for investigation, the author has compiled dozens of statistics measuring whether or not America's racial majority still yearns for a white champion--a Great White Hope. Drawing upon data from The Ring Magazine and its annual record books, this study endeavors to bolster or refute the popular perception in boxing circles that white fighters of lesser ability are helped along to their sports elite level, as a result of being promotional gold in the eyes of the public.
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