Course Description

This course will appeal to any student who played high school sports, is a sports fan or who is interested in learning about cultural diversity in American sports. Students will learn about Critical Race Theory (CRT), its origins, socio-cultural ramifications and how they intersect with American commercial sports. While Critical Race Theory focuses primarily on discrimination, power and control, this class will stretch beyond that paradigm and examine how cultural diversity plays a significant part in American sports. This seminar will evoke self- examination, the development of personal perspective and critical analysis. Students will question themselves and challenge each other in their writings and in class discussions.

This course seeks to explore and examine the historical and contemporary socio-cultural intersections race and ethnicity have in American culture and commercial sports. We will explore how those trends impact athletes, coaches and sports administrators. I am also very interested in the impact course information has on you, the student. Consequently, your feedback and participation in class discussions and writing assignments are critical to the success of this class and your learning experience. The class will employ lecture, discussion, short documentary films and writing assignments (reflection papers) to achieve those objectives. My goal by the end of the semester are:

  1. Introduce you to Critical Race Theory, its origins, its impact on society and its intersection in American commercial sports.
  2. To encourage you to become a critical thinker, to challenge what you read.
  3. Examine your own values and beliefs about race and ethnicity in the United States.
  4. To broaden your knowledge about diversity and to view society from the perspectives of marginalized racial and ethnic minorities.

GenEd Information: Currently approved for the IU Bloomington GenEd SH requirement. See the GenEd Website for more information.

Catalog Information: COLL-S 104 FRESHMAN SEMINAR IN S & H

IFS course instructor photo

Course Instructor: Gary Sailes

Gary Doc Sailes is an Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Afro American and African Diaspora Studies at Indiana University. He has published over 100 articles and book chapters and his eighth and most recent book titled Modern Sport and the African American Experience, 2nd Edition was released this year. Dr. Sailes also works as a consultant in commercial sports where his clients include ESPN, NBC Sports, NBA, NFL, MLB and the NCAA. Having led two Congressional hearings on college sports, Dr. Sailes is the recipient of the Distinguished Service award from the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport and teaching excellence awards from the Departments of Kinesiology and AAADS at Indiana University. He credits his two sons, Grant and William, for sustaining his passion for sports.

Critical Race Theory in American Sports

Critical Race Theory in American Sports: Courses: Intensive Freshman Seminars: Indiana University Bloomington