Racial Tensiona and Low Expectation on Black Athletes in Football

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In Odessa, an oil-rich town in West Texas, there is a line that separates the two races of blacks and whites. They called it “the American version of the Berlin Wall – the railroad tracks that inevitably ran through the heart of town” (Bissinger 91). The tracks are the symbol of the barrier, tension, and attitude that stand between the two races. To the Odessan whites, African Americans are often considered extraneous, with few hopes and dreams to follow. It is also a common part of everyday language to blurt out the word “nigger,” without ever categorizing it in a racist context. To escape the predisposed perception, the football stadium, where the night lights shine, is the solitary premises where blacks accepted as an identity, as well …show more content…

This accident not only jeopardizes Boobie’s career, but also lay down the principal truth behind athletes of colors. Accordingly, Bissinger shows the readers how Blacks are viewed: “Just do to him what a trainer did to a horse…shoot him to put him out of the misery of life that no longer had any value” (Bissinger 67). The imagery illustrates here depicts an oppression tone which translates to the fact that Blacks athletes are solely exploited until they have reach their point of exhaustion. In sum, Bissinger is implying that African American are only accepted in the realm of Odessa football because they are physically capable of bringing victory to the game. However, when black athletes are seen as no longer useful in the playing field, the Permian whites automatically omit them from the hierarchy. Laurence Hurd, an African American Church of Christ minister, compared this prejudice to the period of slavery: “Today, instead of the cotton field, it’s the sports arena” (Bissinger 109). Through the dialogue of Hurd, the reader can clearly see that this comparison reflects the antebellum era, in which labor oppression as well as unfair discrimination were at its prime against people of color. For that matter, Hurd is essentially highlighting the perpetuation of blacks’ exploitation, specifying the continuous prejudice thoughts from the White society. Unfortunately, Boobie fell under this curse of

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