Playing with the Boys: Why Separate Is Not Equal in Sports

By Eileen McDonagh; Laura Pappano | Go to book overview

7
PASS THE BALL

“We ain’t what we oughta be,
We ain’t what we wanna be,
We ain’t what we gonna be,
but thank God,
We ain’t what we was.”

—Anonymous African American woman,
quoted by Dr. Martin Luther King1


Sports Matter to Social Equality

When former (and 2007 fill-in) Yankees pitcher and frequent Cy Young Award recipient Roger Clemens earned career victory 300 on June 13, 2003, he won kudos not only from sports fans but also political figures. Two weeks after the win, a New York Times reporter spotted two congratulatory letters atop a black case near Clemens’s locker—one from U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson and one from President George W. Bush, who praised Clemens as a “positive role model.” Left unsaid was exactly what kind of positive role model Bush thought Clemens was, but that was hardly the

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