Journal of African American Studies

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 195–208 | Cite as

“I’m a Baller”: Athletic Identity Foreclosure among African-American Former Student-Athletes

  • Krystal BeamonEmail author


Few collegiate athletes advance to the ranks of professional. For most collegiate student-athletes, their retirement from athletics will begin soon after their senior campaign, but many have a difficult time leaving their dreams, aspirations, and athletic identity behind. Athletes participating in high-level sports competition have been noted to have an exclusive athletic identity, with most of their self-definition and self-worth based on athletic participation and success. This study examines identity foreclosure in 20 African-American former Division I athletes through in-depth ethnographic interviews. These athletes were found to have exclusive athletic identities that negatively affect their transition out of athletics as they struggle to redefine their identities.


African-Americans Athletics Identity foreclosure 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Texas–ArlingtonArlingtonUSA

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