Athleticising young black lives: confusing education with commerce in high school sports

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

105 Downloads (Pure)


Informed by Critical Race Theory, this analysis uniquely exposes the deeply racist ideology of high school sports; an ideology that disproportionately and systematically channels young Black lives into high revenue generating sports on the promise of upward social mobility, increased scholastic opportunity, and respect. Utilising a mixed methodology, this chapter exposes: 1) How standardised testing agendas - as powerful state-mandated segregation systems - disproportionately exclude young Black lives from realising success through ‘traditional’ academic measures, 2) The institutionalised promotion of high-revenue sports as the most genuine means through which a young Black student can experience success, praise, hope and aspiration in schooling, and 3) The damaging and enduring pattern of institutional racism that is participation in high revenue school sports. The analysis concludes that the entrapment of young Black lives in the athletic department is not a result of Black persons seeking respect, expanded opportunities and social mobility, but the White institution’s manufacturing of an athleticised Black identity that ultimately serves White interest.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication‘Race’, Youth Sport, Physical Activity and Health
Subtitle of host publicationGlobal Perspectives
EditorsSymeon Dagkas, Laura Azzarito, Kevin Hylton
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781351122948
ISBN (Print)9780815358220
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2019

Publication series

NameRoutledge Critical Perspectives on Equality and Social Justice in Sport and Leisure


  • Critical Race Theory
  • Interest Convergence
  • High School Sports
  • Racism
  • Standardised Testing


Dive into the research topics of 'Athleticising young black lives: confusing education with commerce in high school sports'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this