Early Afro-Brazilian Soccer Stars and the Myth of Racial Democracy  

by Zachary R. Bigalke The ideology of racial democracy cast a long shadow over twentieth-century race relations in Brazil. First popularized by influential Brazilian scholar Gilberto Freyre, this theory presumed a level racial playing field that was paradoxically dependent on the whitening of the populace. Rather than helping to drive the country toward a multiracial…

Collaboration versus Confrontation: Comparing the Successes and Failures of Major League Soccer and the American Soccer League

By Zachary R. Bigalke Major League Soccer (MLS) kicked off its 22nd season over the past weekend, welcoming two new teams into the fold to expand the league into two 11-team conferences. Fifteen years after the league contracted its two Florida teams, the long-term plan executed by Don Garber seems to have fully flowered. Having…

Amos Alonzo Stagg and Trump’s America

By Paul Emory Putz The resistance to Donald Trump’s vision of America is diverse. There are former CIA operatives, rogue government employees, the Merriam-Webster social media manager, woke babies, and millions of marching women. The world of athletics has gotten involved as well, with coaches like Greg Popovich and Steve Kerr speaking out. The most…

“Sport’s Answer to the Three-Ring Circus”: Indoor Track and American Identity in the 1950s

By Cat Ariail “Indoor track, sport’s answer to the three-ring circus, springs full-grown from the winter much as Athena sprang fully-armed from the head of Zeus,” asserted Sports Illustrated’s Tex Maule in 1958.[1] In a subsequent article, Maule suggested the sport “takes on a carnival air when the lineal descendants of the fleet cave man…

Q&A with Natalia Petrzela on Fitness/Wellness History

By Andrew McGregor Two weeks into the new year, many of us are trying to stick to our resolutions. Getting in shape, working out more, and focusing on our health are often among the things we resolve to change or improve. As we embark on these challenges in 2017, I caught up with Natalia Mehlman Petrzela to…