‘Race’, racism and participation in sport
This briefing outlines three propositions in what is an increasingly complex field of theory, policy and practice:
- ‘Race’ and ethnicity influence the way sport is accessed and experienced;
- Responses to racial disparities and discrimination require coherent and specific approaches at multiple levels (individual, organisational, structural);
- Race equality policies require clear thought but implementation needs thoughtful action.
This paper considers “sport” in both a formal context of active participation, and participation in physical activity more generally, considering possible preferences for informal or community contexts for some black and minority ethnic groups. It also explores the role that formal structures and bodies can play in increasing participation amongst these individuals.
- Racism and racialised inequalities significantly influence black and minority ethnic communities’ access, participation and experiences of sport.
- Black and minority ethnic community experiences of racism differ within and across ethnic groups. Intersections between gender, class, age and disability also influence experiences and participation in sport.
- In light of the existence of racism in sport, it is unsurprising that many black and minority ethnic groups favour physical activity (PA) and health programmes that can be pursued away from the mainstream.
- Race equality in sport requires a critical approach that understands the nuances of tackling different experiences of racism in policy and practice. One size does not fit all.
- Racism and racialised inequalities significantly influence black and minority ethnic communities’ access, participation and experiences of sport
- Black and minority ethnic experiences of racism in sport differ within and across ethnic groups and intersect with issues relating to gender, class and disability
- Many black and minority ethnic groups favour physical activity and health programmes that can be pursued in less competitive environments
- One size does not fit all: achieving race equality in sport requires understanding of different experiences
- Sport bodies and race equality
- Case studies of sports bodies addressing race equality
- Sport for All?
Author(s): Kevin Hylton; Jonathan Long; Daniel Parnell; A.J. Rankin
Briefing series: Better Health Briefing Paper 40
Publisher: Race Equality Foundation
Publication date: November 2015