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

Abstract

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.

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Correspondence to Krystal Beamon.

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Beamon, K. “I’m a Baller”: Athletic Identity Foreclosure among African-American Former Student-Athletes. J Afr Am St 16, 195–208 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12111-012-9211-8

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Keywords

  • African-Americans
  • Athletics
  • Identity foreclosure