The gap between minority and minority groups has increased due to differences in religion and culture (Cotton, McGrady, & Rosenthal, 2010). The diversity of the people has created racial and ethnic discrimination in most parts of the world, especially the United States of America and some parts of Europe like Britain and Germany (Dagkas, Benn, & Jawad, 2011). Also, ethnic and racial differences have contributed to the unequal distribution of resources in the United States of America. Social classes in the United States of America have resulted in an increased in the gap between majority and minority (Strandbu, Bakken, & Sletten, 2019). Socio-economic resources have significant impacts on the participation of minorities in sports. A research conducted in the United States to determine the impacts of organized games have shown that boys from minority groups are not affected by social-economic factors during their participation in sports. The social and economic background plays an important role in determining the participation of different groups of people in sports (Cotton et al., 2010). Some sports require participants to register using a lot of money; therefore, favoring people from the upper social classes. The participation of people from ethnic and racial groups is lower in the United States of America. This paper provides succinct information on the participation of racial and ethnic minorities in sports.
Strengths and Weaknesses of Sports Participation among Racial and Ethnic Minorities
Sports associations in the United States of America and Europe have provided various factors that influence the participation of ethnic and racial minorities in organized sporting activities. According to Broch (2014), sporting activities are is international, follow simple rules, and do not require participants to develop strong language abilities. Socio-economic factors are the main components that affect the participation of ethnic and racial minorities in sports. For example, discrimination based on race discourages other people from participating in sporting activities. Some people are talented in sports but do not get a chance to participate in the events. The participation of ethnic and racial minorities have strengths and weaknesses (Cotton et al., 2010). Also, the use of a common language and simple rules in sports prevent discrimination of the minorities and promote equality among all human beings. In most cases, English is used as an international language for communication during sporting events.
To start with the strengths, the participation of ethnic and racial minorities in sports promotes national integration. Sports brings people from different social and economic backgrounds together. Most of the sporting activities involve the use of a common international language; uniting people despite their social and economic disparities. The participation of ethnic and racial minorities in sports reduces discrimination and promotes unity among different people (Dagkas et al. 2011). Currently, a large number of racial and ethnic minorities in the United States of America and Europe participate in various sporting activities that including football, rugby, volleyball, cricket, golf, and basketball (Broch, 2014).
Secondly, the participation of ethnic and racial minorities in sports has increased improved equality among different people. Equality among all people reduces the gap between the majority and minorities (Broch, 2014). For example, considering the interests of other people in sports promotes appropriate development and reduces the gap between the majority and other minorities. African Americans and other minority groups have used the resources they obtain from sports to improve their economic status. Also, equality minimizes discrimination based on ethical and racial differences; therefore, reducing the gap between the majority and minorities in the United States of America and other parts of the world (Strandbu et al., 2019).
Thirdly, the participation of ethnic and racial minorities in sports promotes development in a country. Inclusive development promotes unity among all human beings. According to conducted in the United States of America, it was clear that the African American is the leading participants in various sporting activities (Wilhelmsen, 2017). Majority of the African Americans participate in sporting activities like basketball, volleyball, and athletics (Wilhelmsen, 2017). The participants contribute to the payment of taxes to both federal state governments. The taxes are used for improving the social and economic status of the country. Lastly, the participation of ethical and racial minorities in sports enables people to develop appropriate personalities and self-esteem in their lives. According to Wilhelmsen (2017), people develop appropriate interpersonal skills through their participation in sports. The immigrants get an opportunity to interact with other people through their participation in sporting activities, regardless of existing ethical and racial differences.
Despite the various strengths; the participation of ethical and racial minorities in sports has been linked with different weaknesses (Wilhelmsen, 2017). First, young people whose parents are immigrants from developing and underdeveloped countries have do not participate in sports as compared to those from majority groups. Religious commitment and socio-economic factors affect the participation of racial and ethnic minorities in sports (Dagkas et al. 2011). Secondly, the lack of a stable economic background also contributes to the weaknesses encountered during the process of promoting equal participation of people in sports. For example, some sporting activities like basketball and golf are considered to be organized for the majority of rich groups in the United States of America and other parts of the world.
Thirdly, the ability of ethical and racial minorities to participate in sports reduces their religious performances. In this case, it is clear that young people from the majority groups engage in religious or spiritual activities more than those from ethical and racial minorities. Research has shown that more than 75% of the people participating in sports abandon their religious practices (Wilhelmsen, 2017). Almost 90% of those abandoning their religious practices and beliefs are those from ethical and racial minorities (Wilhelmsen, 2017). The participants who abandon their religious practices and beliefs normally engage in criminal activities like drug use and smuggling. In this case, the participation of racial and ethical minorities in sports has resulted in the violation of religious beliefs and practices. Cultural and religious beliefs are the main factors that determine the identity of a person or group of people in a community.
In conclusion, it is important to consider the strengths and weaknesses related to the participation of racial and ethical minority groups in sports. Gender is the main consideration in the research because the participation of different socio-economic groups in sports is gender-based. Girls from minority groups are less likely to participate in sports. On the other hand, girls from the majority groups participate actively in sports, unlike their male counterparts. Boys and young men from minorities participate in most sporting activities because they use it as a means of improving their social and economic status. Socio-economic resources are important in determining the strengths and weaknesses related to the participation of the ethical and racial minorities in sports. The emphasis on the social and economic factors is essential in reducing the existing gap between majority and minority groups. Religious and cultural backgrounds of the people determine their abilities to participate in sporting activities. Appropriate policies should be developed by the government to encourage the participation of all groups of people regardless of their religious and cultural beliefs.
Broch, T. B. (2014). "Smiles and Laughs-all Teeth Intact": A Cultural Perspective on Mediated Women's Handball in Norway. International Journal of Sport Communication, 7(1), 56-73. Retrieved from: doi:10.1123/IJSC.2013-0133.10.1123/IJSC.2013-0133
Cotton, S., McGrady M., & Rosenthal, S. (2010). Measurement of Religiosity/Spirituality in Adolescent Health Outcomes Research: Trends and Recommendations. Journal of Religion and Health 49: 414-444. doi:10.1007/s10943-010-9324-0.10.1007/s10943-010-
Dagkas, S., Benn, T., & Jawad, H. (2011). Multiple Voices: Improving Participation of Muslim Girls in Physical Education and School Sport. Sport, Education, and Society, 16(2), 223-239. Retrieved from: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13573322.2011.540427
Strandbu, A, Bakken, A., & Sletten, M. A. (2019). Exploring the Minority-Majority Gap in Sports Participation: Different Patterns for Boys and Girls? Sport in Society, 22(4), 606-624. Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.1080/17430437.2017.1389056
Wilhelmsen, T. (2017). Time Trends in School Well-Being among Adolescents in Oslo: Can Trends be explained by Social Relationships? (Master's thesis). Retrieved from: https://www.duo.uio.no/handle/10852/57289
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