A former college and professional athlete, Bimper (Colorado State Univ.) is currently a faculty member in African American studies and a university administrator. Between his personal experiences and his interviews with college athletes and sport administrators, he more than proves his case that college athletes are harmed in a sport system that is embedded in a higher education system where both systems operationalize the recruitment of workers into a hyper-capitalistic machine. Although his thesis is couched in theory, his points are critically important. Bimper asserts that athletes of color suffer the greatest harms in historically white institutions because opportunities for white athletes differ given historical and structural racism. Athletes recognize that they are being used as cogs in a "hyper-commercialized" sports machine that is used to perpetuate the status quo and often feel that they have to fight for their education. Those who are athletes of color know that while they might be exceptional in their sport, outside of athletics they are vulnerable to the effects of racism. Athletes who protest injustices fear, and often face, backlash and punishment despite their contributions of unpaid labor as college athletes. This is a challenging and thought-provoking book that, while a little heavy on theory, is spot-on in its critique of college sports. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, faculty, and professionals. General readers.
In this text, Dr. Bimper skillfully examines and explicates the position and power of sport in the microcosm of American life. He provides an adept assessment of the neoliberal forces that have sought to place a Band-Aid on the cancer of racism using sport as a sedative. This author provides a compellingly unique perspective as he adjusts and readjusts his lens from a student athlete, to a professional athlete, to an athletic administrator and finally through the eyes of accomplished academic. The author provides the reader with a view that few can offer while providing a thought-provoking journey into the depth of race and sport.