David Leonard: Reading

Playing While White: Privilege and Power On and Off the Field argues that whiteness matters in sports culture, both on and off the field. Offering critical analysis of athletic stars such as Johnny Manziel, Marshall Henderson, Jordan Spieth, Lance Armstrong, and Josh Hamilton, as well as the predominantly white cultures of NASCAR and extreme sports, David identifies how whiteness is central to the commodification of athletes and the sports they play.

David demonstrates that sporting cultures are a key site in the trafficking of racial ideas, narratives, and ideologies. He identifies how white athletes are frequently characterized as intelligent leaders who are presumed innocent of the kinds of transgressions black athletes are often pathologized for. With an analysis of the racial dynamics of sports traditions as varied as football, cycling, hockey, baseball, tennis, snowboarding, and  soccer, as well as the reception and media portrayals of specific white athletes, David examines how and why whiteness matters within sports and what that tells us about race in the twenty-first century.

DAVID J. LEONARD is a professor at Washington State University. He is the author of After Artest: The NBA and the Assault on  Blackness and coeditor of Commodified and Criminalized: New Racism and African Americans in Contemporary Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @drdavidjleonard.

Event date: 
Saturday, September 23, 2017 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
Auntie's Bookstore
402 W Main Ave
Spokane, WA 99201
Playing While White: Privilege and Power on and Off the Field Cover Image
ISBN: 9780295741888
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of Washington Press - May 19th, 2017

Playing While White argues that whiteness matters in sports culture, both on and off the field.

After Artest: The NBA and the Assault on Blackness (Suny Series on Sport) Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781438442068
Availability: Special Order
Published: State University of New York Press - May 2012

On November 19, 2004, a fight between NBA players Ron Artest and Ben Wallace escalated into a melee involving several other players and many fans. The "Palace Brawl," writes David J. Leonard, was a seminal event, one that dramatically altered outside perceptions of the sport.

Commodified and Criminalized: New Racism and African Americans in Contemporary Sports (Perspectives on a Multiracial America) Cover Image
By David J. Leonard (Editor), C. Richard King (Editor), David L. Andrews (Contribution by)
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ISBN: 9781442206786
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Published: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers - January 27th, 2012

Commodified and Criminalized examines the centrality of sport to discussions of racial ideologies and racist practices in the 21st century. It disputes familiar refrains of racial progress, arguing that athletes sit in a contradictory position masked by the logics of new racism and dominant white racial frames.