© 2017

Critical Race Theory: Black Athletic Sporting Experiences in the United States

  • Billy J. Hawkins
  • Akilah R. Carter-Francique
  • Joseph N. Cooper


  • Presents historical and contemporary evidence of racism in college sport and outlines activist agendas informed by each theory

  • Draws attention to various grassroots strategies by students engaged in sociopolitical activism beyond athletics

  • Offers a step-by-step plan for enhanced financial stability, cultural empowerment and institutional integrity within college athletics


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxi
  2. Billy Hawkins, Akilah Carter-Francique, Joseph Cooper
    Pages 1-7
  3. Theoretical Practices, Reform, and Advocacy

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 9-9
    2. Akilah Carter-Francique, Emmett Gill, Algerian Hart
      Pages 85-119
  4. Academic Experiences, Challenges, and Legislation

  5. Athletic Representation and Leadership

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 295-295
  6. Best practices and leadership

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 315-315
    2. Billy Hawkins
      Pages 317-320
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 321-330

About this book


This book examines the role of race in athletic programs in the United States. Intercollegiate athletics remains a contested terrain where race and racism are critical issues often absent in the public discourse. Recently, the economic motives of intercollegiate athletic programs and academic indiscretions have unveiled behaviors that stand to tarnish the images of institutions of higher education and reinforce racial stereotypes about the intellectual inabilities of Black males. Through the lens of Critical Race Theory (CRT), this volume analyzes sport as the platform that reflects and reinforces ideas about race within American culture, as well as the platform where resistance is forged against dominant racial ideologies. 



School choice pluralism common school Catholic schools constitution law education law Critical Race Theory

Editors and affiliations

  • Billy J. Hawkins
    • 1
  • Akilah R. Carter-Francique
    • 2
  • Joseph N. Cooper
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Health and Human PerformanceUniversity of HoustonHoustonUSA
  2. 2.University of ConnecticutStorrsUSA
  3. 3.Prairie View A&M UniversityPrairie ViewUSA

About the editors

Billy J. Hawkins is Professor at the University of Houston, USA, in the department of Health and Human Performance. His teaching contributions are in the areas of sociology of sport and cultural studies, sport management, and sport for development at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Hawkins is a recipient of the prestigious Robert Maynard Hutchins Award for his work on intercollegiate athletics. 

Akilah R. Carter-Francique is Assistant Professor of Sport Management at Texas A&M University, USA. Her research scholarship, teaching, and service focus on intersections of race and ethnicity, gender, and sport and physical activity. 

Joseph N. Cooper is Assistant Professor of Sport Management at the University of Connecticut, USA. His research interests focus on the intersection between race, sport, and education.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Critical Race Theory: Black Athletic Sporting Experiences in the United States
  • Editors Billy J. Hawkins
    Akilah R. Carter-Francique
    Joseph N. Cooper
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, New York
  • eBook Packages Education Education (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-1-137-60037-0
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-349-93370-9
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-137-60038-7
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XXI, 330
  • Number of Illustrations 6 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Education, general
    Sociology of Sport and Leisure
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“Brilliantly penetrating and an exceedingly timely analysis of developments at the interface of sports, race, higher education, and society. An absolute must read for all who seek an in-depth, more contextualized, and reasoned comprehension of race in mainstream collegiate sport and it’s all but intractable recapitulation of the structure and dynamics of human relations in the broader American society. A major contribution to the literature on both the application of Critical Race Theory and the Sociology of Sport.” (Harry Edwards, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley, USA)

“This book is of profound importance to anyone who wants to better understand the issues facing athletes of color within the corporate college sport entertainment complex.  In a time when the nation struggles with long-standing and unresolved issues of race generally, and college sport nation faces its own difficult conversations about race, this collection of work from leading sport scholars offers important historical and cultural context to recognize the source of this racial strife and to empower readers to move forward with the hard work of listening to the echoes of the past as they reverberate in the present, seeing the exploitative practices of a college sport system that use the labor of black bodies for profit and gain, and consciously creating pathways to a just future.” (Ellen J. Staurowsky, Professor of Sport Management, Drexel University, USA) 

“Throughout the past eight years, strain and apprehension has stirred up query concerning race relations in the United States. In this edited volume, Hawkins, Carter-Francique and Cooper, challenge conventional wisdom concerning humanism in a comparative analysis. This book has vindicated the treatment of race relations in contemporary times. Comprehensively, this book is a must read and makes an indispensable contribution to social science research on African American Studies.” (James L. Conyers, Jr., Director, African American Studies Program, University of Houston, USA)

“This book provides a poignant perspective of sport through the intensive lens of Critical Race Theory (CRT). This unique volume offers a glimpse into the unique experiences of Black athletes through the eyes of scholars, many of whom have personal experience in this realm. The unique lens of CRT brings into focus the connection between the Black athletes’ experiences and the concerns of racism in the broader Black population. The authors deliver warranted critique of oppressive forces while confirming the obvious indication that Black Athletes Matter!” (Louis Harrison Jr., Professor, The University of Texas at Austin, USA)