Thursday, May 03, 2007

Implicit racism in sports: Who knew?

An unpublished research (and not yet peer-reviewed) report finds implicit bias among White refs against Black players in the NBA. The report, which experts hired by The New York Times say is more credible than the NBA's own research, has met a storm of protest from the NBA, journalists and athletes. But research has shown, time and time again, that implicit racial bias (see for yourself) is a reality. The mythology that sports is a great racial equalizer, however, is hard to shake.


Kevin Hayward said...

Hi Marie. It's cool to see a journalism prof with her own blog. I'm an aspiring sports journalist, but at this point I'm finding it difficult to move past the "freelancer" status. Oh well. You take what you can get, right?

I also wrote a blog post on the subject, with the premise that our society (and maybe sports in particular) has become hypersensitive to race-related issues. At some point, this becomes a problem. In this case, we'll have refs that start to second-guess their own calls, wondering if they're blowing the whistle because the player is black or because they heard a slap on the wrist.

Anonymous said...

The problem is, as Stern pointed out, the flawed methodology -- not to mention the minimal "bias" their study suggests.

No one is denying the existence of bias -- but my gut says the Times thought this would be a sexy story (Duke case, anyone?) and ran with it.