Cultural historian Dave Zirin, whose influential blog and bestselling books have offered searing insights into the politics of American sports, examines the myriad ways sports culture has worked both to reproduce and challenge the wider culture's dominant ideas about race and racial difference.
Interviewed by Communication scholar Sut Jhally, whose own work has sought to clarify the relationship between popular culture and racial attitudes, Zirin's analysis ranges from the emergence of professional sports in the 1800s to today's commercial media sports spectacles to show how athletes of color have posed a direct threat to traditional notions of whiteness, white male authority, and American ideals of masculinity. The film is richly illustrated throughout with archival and contemporary sports footage.
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