Capturing Racism: An analysis of racial projects within the Lisa Simpson vs. University of Colorado football rape caseInternational Journal of the History of Sport (2007)
AbstractThe spectacle of collegiate sports is the face of the American university. Collegiate sports are, as Hartman would put it, contested racial terrain. In America, sport incidents of sexual assault push the contested racial terrain into high relief. Such is the case with the Lisa Simpson versus the University of Colorado sexual assault case. This analysis of court documents, public comments and participant observation from the position of an expert witness reveals how racism is practised by powerful whites within and around a collegiate sport organization. Data collected at a moment of institutional crisis suggest that powerful university officials, acting on behalf of the university, appropriate 'progressive' concerns such as 'hostile community' and 'the myth of the black rapist' to draw attention to whiteness. This seemingly oppositional stance insulates the university and its athletic programme from charges of racial exploitation. These comments are contrasted with the testimony and actions of people of colour working within the athletic department. The essay concludes by arguing that as contemporary scholars' concern with making whiteness visible enters popular culture, American sport fans will engage in racial discourse but in a way that will perpetuate racial inequality.
Publication DateFebruary, 2007
Citation InformationTodd Crosset. "Capturing Racism: An analysis of racial projects within the Lisa Simpson vs. University of Colorado football rape case" International Journal of the History of Sport Vol. 24 Iss. 2 (2007)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/todd_crosset/6/