Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

Blocking While Black: An Examination of Racial Disparity on Holding Penalties in the NFL

Class

Article

College

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Faculty Mentor

Mehmet Soyer

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Abstract

Race relations in the United States have received considerable media attention recently. Media coverage of discriminatory police violence against minorities and subsequent protest against these actions are an almost daily occurrence. Moreover, starting with Colin Kaepernick, many National Football League players have taken a knee during the National Anthem in protest of racial discrimination and violence by law enforcement against minorities. This action has generated considerable controversy. For example, President Donald Trump tweeted this past season, “The NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem. Total disrespect for our great country!” However, many people commend players for protesting and drawing attention to racial discrimination that many minorities face in their daily lives in the United States today. Racial minorities are often victims of discrimination by law enforcement. In his classic essay, Harris (1997) examined the racial profiling phenomenon that has become known as “Driving While Black.” The Harris (1997) Driving While Black study focused on the interactions between law enforcement officers and minority citizens, finding that minorities are more likely to be stopped while driving than their white counterpArts. The pretense of the stop – which was actually to search the car for narcotics – was that the driver committed a traffic violation. The opposition argues that there is no way that even the most careful driver can avoid committing minor traffic violations, and the racial minorities being disproportionately pulled over were actually guilty of nothing more than “Driving While Black.” Based on this study and others like it, I expect NFL players might also face racial discrimination by game officials while playing. However, little research has been conducted in this area. This is the focus of my study.

Location

The South Atrium

Start Date

4-12-2018 3:00 PM

End Date

4-12-2018 4:15 PM

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Apr 12th, 3:00 PM Apr 12th, 4:15 PM

Blocking While Black: An Examination of Racial Disparity on Holding Penalties in the NFL

The South Atrium

Race relations in the United States have received considerable media attention recently. Media coverage of discriminatory police violence against minorities and subsequent protest against these actions are an almost daily occurrence. Moreover, starting with Colin Kaepernick, many National Football League players have taken a knee during the National Anthem in protest of racial discrimination and violence by law enforcement against minorities. This action has generated considerable controversy. For example, President Donald Trump tweeted this past season, “The NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem. Total disrespect for our great country!” However, many people commend players for protesting and drawing attention to racial discrimination that many minorities face in their daily lives in the United States today. Racial minorities are often victims of discrimination by law enforcement. In his classic essay, Harris (1997) examined the racial profiling phenomenon that has become known as “Driving While Black.” The Harris (1997) Driving While Black study focused on the interactions between law enforcement officers and minority citizens, finding that minorities are more likely to be stopped while driving than their white counterpArts. The pretense of the stop – which was actually to search the car for narcotics – was that the driver committed a traffic violation. The opposition argues that there is no way that even the most careful driver can avoid committing minor traffic violations, and the racial minorities being disproportionately pulled over were actually guilty of nothing more than “Driving While Black.” Based on this study and others like it, I expect NFL players might also face racial discrimination by game officials while playing. However, little research has been conducted in this area. This is the focus of my study.