Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 6 x 9
978-1-4422-1788-1 • Hardback • October 2015 • $87.00 • (£67.00)
978-1-4422-1789-8 • Paperback • November 2016 • $38.00 • (£29.00)
978-1-4422-1790-4 • eBook • October 2015 • $36.00 • (£28.00)
Darron T. Smithis an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Sociology at the University of Memphis. He has lectured and published widely in the fields of healthcare disparities, religious studies, and transracial adoption and the black family. Dr. Smith is coauthor of White Parents, Black Children: Experiencing Transracial Adoption as well as coeditor of Black and Mormon and The Impact of Social Factors on Health. He is a frequent political and cultural commentator for the Huffington Post on various issues of US-based oppression and has contributed to various media, including Religion Dispatches and ESPN's Outside the Lines.
- The Meaning of Sport in the Popular Imagination: The Collision of Race, Religion and Sport
- The Origins of Racism and Framing: Setting the Stage for the History of Blacks in Sport
- The White Racial Framing of Blacks in Mormon Theology
- Black Student Revolts and Political Uprising in the Late Sixties and Early Seventies: Fanning the Flame of Black Student-Athlete Revolts
- Mormon Attitudes toward Civil Rights: It’s God’s Law, We’re Not Racist!
- No Honor in the Honor Code: The Suspension of Brandon Davies and the Incompatibility Nexus between Blackness and Mormonism
- Colorblindness and the Health Consequences to Black Male Student-Athletes through the Illusion of a Free Education
- Pipeline to a Pipedream: The Elusiveness of Change in the Era of “Black Lives Matter”
Arguing that the close and complex relationship between race and religion can be uncovered through sports, Smith does a masterful job of weaving together critical race theory, US religious history, and sports to examine institutionalized racism in intercollegiate athletics. Specifically, Smith examines the realm of the sacred through the uneasy relationship between black student athletes and Mormonism’s larger theological constructions of race. Smith points out that within the Mormon Church blackness, especially in regard to black male athletes, is in tension with the notions of freedom, justice, and equality. However, Brigham Young University is not very different from other primarily white schools where, when it comes to sports, big money commands more interest than does the need of athletes. Black student athletes are especially under attack from the systemic white racism of the NCAA sports world. Perhaps most interesting here is Smith’s attention to how change can occur both within Mormon circles and in the sporting world at large. This book is timely, excellent, and worth a very close read. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels.
— Choice Reviews
I want to highlight this amazing book . . . [It] is a really fascinating read . . . I can’t plug this book enough and tell everybody they need to read it.
— Mormon Stories
The intersecting of race, religion and sport (or perhaps in the author’s words, the ‘collision’ of
the three) is a rare feat in the world of scholarship…. An analysis of their association is certainly warranted. Darron T. Smith does just this by wading into the waters of the sports programmes at the flagship university of the Mormon Church. His thesis, that long-standing tenets of Mormon theology have unduly served to punish black athletes at Brigham Young University, extends beyond the expected descriptive account of race, religion and sport converging. Smith bravely aims to expose the racist underbelly of BYU and other similar predominantly white institutions with sport acting as the prism through which to inspect. Hence, When Race, Religion, and SportCollide stands as a critique of the kind of theologized institutionalized racism that hides within the ranks of big-time college athletics. More to the point, racism and its effects are unique and likely more ingrained and pernicious at religious schools – institutions that should be leading the charge in the opposite direction…. When Race, Religion, and Sport Collide is a respectable gambit into the literature that deals both with race and sport, as well as with sport and religion. Indeed the three are tightly intertwined forming a rope that can pull us out of our shameful racist past but also continue to pull us down into long-standing racist histories with nothing less than the force of God.
— Sport in Society: Cultures, Commerce, Media, Politics
When Race, Religion, and Sport Collide: Black Athletes at BYU and Beyond takes us well past the Davies dismissal to consider the nexus of race, religion, sport, and economic inequality in American society writ large, using BYU as an exemplar of the nation’s colleges and universities…. Smith should be commended for taking on the herculean task of trying to unravel the complex intertwining of race, sports, inequality, and religion.
— Mormon Studies Review