Sarah Stier / Staff / Getty Images

Both the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments generate tens of millions of dollars every year, thanks largely to Black student-athletes. According to Forbes“Black men make up 50% of the 68 teams in the 2024 NCAA men’s basketball tournament. More than one in three student-athletes (36%) in this year’s women’s tournament are black.”

This is a comparatively latest phenomenon, having been occurring for several many years college basketball was essentially an almost exclusively white sport. “Until the 1950s, black people playing on campus courts were rare exceptions.”

This legacy of exclusion had a long-lasting impact. It wasn’t until April 2, 1984, that John Thompson made history when he became the first black coach to win the NCAA984 Basketball Tournament. John Thompson made history when he became the first black coach to win the NCAA basketball tournament while coaching a team Georgetown Hoyas to victory.

But it was bittersweet. As Thompson said ESPN“I may have been the first black person to be given the opportunity to compete for this award because you discriminated against thousands of my ancestors by depriving them of this opportunity.”

“So I felt compelled to define it, and I got a little criticism for saying it because a young guy came up to me and asked, ‘What’s it like, Coach Thompson, to be the first African-American…,’ and I said, “I feel offended by what you say.” But I explained to him because there are various men who’ve been deprived of this chance who would have won it well before me.” Thompson added.

On the women’s side, Kenny Brooks was the first Black head coach, leading Virginia Tech to their first-ever Final Four appearance last yr.

From the Utah women’s basketball team being the victim of racial hate crimes to the racist portrayal of LSU in the media, race has been a serious topic on this yr’s NCAA Tournament.

AND Los Angeles Times the article, which has since been redacted, contained racist and sexist undertones that were likely directed at Black LSU women’s basketball players. Writer Ben Bolch described the Sweet 16 game between UCLA and LSU as a “reckoning” between good and evil and posed the query: “Do you favor America’s sweethearts or her perverted debutants? Milk and cookies or Louisiana hot sauce?

Hailey Van Lith, one of the white players on the team, talked to him New York Post Officecommenting, “We have a lot of black women on our team [and] Unfortunately, this prejudice still exists.”

“Many of the people writing these comments are racist towards my teammates. I’m in a singular situation, I’ll talk nonsense and I’ll get a special response than if an Angel spoke nonsense… Some of the words utilized in this text were very sad and depressing and I didn’t want us to try this read the article before [Sweet 16] because it isn’t appropriate to hearken to such things… Calling us “dirty debutants” has nothing to do with sports.” From Lit added.

Bolch apologized on the Internet where he did so he wrote: “Words matter. As a journalist, no one should know this more than me. But I failed miserably with my choice of words.”

“In my column previewing the LSU-UCLA women’s basketball game, I tried to wisely frame one team’s attitude by using alliteration while failing to understand the deeply offensive connotations and associations. I also used metaphors that were not appropriate. Our society has had to deal with so many layers of misogyny, racism and negativity that I now understand why the words I used were wrong. It was not my intention to cause harm, but I now realize that I missed the mark terribly.”

Over the weekend, the Los Angeles Times removed the offensive language and issued a press release statement stating that it “does not meet the Times’ editorial standards.”

In one study, scientists analyzed March madness college basketball games and found that “stereotypes about skin color and race play a significant role in how announcers describe players during games.” According to a study published in the journal ” American journal of sociology“sport is not an institution immune to racism and, in fact, can play a significant role in shaping beliefs and interpretations about intellectual, physical abilities and performance.”

This article was originally published on :

The post March Madness meets Black History: Breaking down barriers and calling out the terrible game of racism first appeared on 360WISE MEDIA.