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date: 19 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Race, religion, and sports may seem like odd bedfellows, but, in fact, all three have been interacting with each other since the emergence of modern sports in the United States over a century ago. It was the sport of boxing that saw a black man become a champion at the height of the Jim Crow era and a baseball player who broke the color barrier two decades before the civil rights movement began. In this chapter, the role that religion has played in these and other instances where race (the African American race in particular) and sports have collided will be examined for its impact on the relationship between race and sports. The association of race, religion, and sports is not accidental. The chapter demonstrates that all three are co-constitutive of and dependent on each other for their meaning at these chosen junctures in American sports history.

Keywords: meritocracy, muscular Christianity, conveyer belt, stacking, Nation of Islam, Ali Summit, Cablinasian, Sportianity

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