5-Day Sports and Social Justice Challenge, powered by
YWCA Greater Cleveland
5-Day Sports and Social Justice Challenge encourages participants to take a deep dive into the history and current realities of racial inequity and social injustice, which permeate the worlds of sports and entertainment.
Learning Objectives/Action Steps:
1. Why has sports become a medium for social justice activism? In what ways is the world of sports a microcosm of society at large?
2. What was the most challenging thing you learned this week?
3. Ensure that your local school does not have Native American imagery as a sports mascot and allows all genders to participate equally in sports.
Day 1: Racism in Sports History & Today
- Watch this video to learn about the history of Black athletes in America and the racial barriers that continue to inhibit equity in sports today. WATCH VIDEO
- Read this article to understand how the enduring racism in baseball and the structural inequities in American society have resulted in a steady decline in Black people playing the sport. READ ARTICLE
- Watch this video about the Negro Leagues and the recent inclusion of the Negro League statistics in the records of the MLB. WATCH VIDEO
Day 2: Ending the use of Native American Imagery in Sport
- Watch this video about the offensiveness of using Native American imagery as sports mascots and why such mascots should no longer exist. WATCH VIDEO
- Read this article about a Native American lacrosse player who turned racist heckling into a moment to educate and bring awareness to Native history within his sport community. READ ARTICLE
Day 3: Athlete Activism
- Watch the event "Dear Black Athlete" to hear testimonials about racism in American sports and the need for athlete activism in the face of such hate and discrimination. WATCH VIDEO
- Watch this video to hear a conversation about athletes and activism (both past and present) and the importance of utilizing their platforms to push for social justice.WATCH VIDEO
- Watch this video about the recent push in women's soccer for pay equity with men's sports. WATCH VIDEO
Day 4: Gender and Sexuality in Sports
- Read this article about intersectionality in sports and the ways in which being both Black and female increases societal barriers to visibility and equity. READ ARTICLE
- Read this article about how transgender girls face unjust and illegal discrimination in sports and how exclusion from playing sports can have a detrimental physical and mental impact on girls and women. READ ARTICLE
- Watch this video to learn about why "sex testing" in sports is unjust and discriminatory--particularly against women of color--and how measuring testosterone is an incomplete measure of performance capacity and emblematic of how drawing artificial lines between the sexes is biologically and morally wrong. WATCH VIDEO
Day 5: Entertainment and Activism
- Read this article on how our nation’s obsession with celebrity may trivialize their intention and impact on actual social issues at hand. READ ARTICLE
- Throughout the years, music has been an integral part of social movements. Watch this video on the history of music in social movements and its current impact. READ ARTICLE
- Read this article about the tradition of protests at award-shows and the lasting power of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. READ ARTICLE
- In recent years, the reciting of the Star-Spangled Banner before sporting events has come under fire. Read this article on why the national anthem is played before American sporting events. READ ARTICLE