Joe, we’re depending on those muscles for America.
—Franklin Roosevelt, speaking to Joe Louis
before the 1938 World Heavyweight boxing match.1
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
So far we have argued that sports are more than entertainment, that they represent a site which reflects, reinforces, and constructs the meaning of race, class, and sex differences in American society. Beyond that, athletics can also be used to challenge inequalities and injustices that are inconsistent with the egalitarian promise of American society. We often see sports used as a conservative tool to maintain social, economic, and political inequalities and injustices. But sports can just as well be a transformative tool for deconstructing social norms that perpetuate old hierarchies and stereotypes of racial, class, and gender groups, thus producing what some refer to as the paradox of sports.3