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Heritage as hate: racism and sporting traditions.

Yearwood, Gabby Matthew Harlan (2018) Heritage as hate: racism and sporting traditions. Leisure Studies, 37 (6). pp. 677-691. ISSN 1466-4496

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This paper explains the symbols and rituals of sporting events and how symbols, ritually celebrated and performed through song as school spirit, normalise the incorporation of white supremacist ideologies into the everyday lives of a community. These racialised ideologies become normalised, taken for granted meaning without much critical reflection. This paper asks how racist anti-Black sentiment becomes normalised as heritage or tradition. Black American male football players sang this song to a predominantly white audience, the tensions of power, racism, and sport overlapped in ways that seemed to go unnoticed by many. This paper explores ritual and tradition as forms of institutionalised racism framed within the context of heritage and school tradition. I argue ritual symbols, and ritual practice teaching anti-Black and pro-White sentiment becomes learned and passed on through subtle and unmarked practices. School fight songs and sporting traditions are part of the ongoing interconnectedness of race and sport in American college life. If we are to see sport as part of a complicated and expansive practice of leisure, then we must also recognise that sport and leisure are always political. Sport is an integral component to normalisation of racism even when sport denotes fun and entertainment.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Yearwood, Gabby Matthew Harlanyearwood@pitt.eduyearwood
Date: 2018
Journal or Publication Title: Leisure Studies
Volume: 37
Number: 6
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Page Range: pp. 677-691
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1080/02614367.2018.1497683
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Anthropology
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1466-4496
Official URL:
Article Type: Research Article
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2020 20:18
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2020 20:18


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