Local Athlete/Entrepreneur to Speak on Racism in Sports in Rio de Janeiro Following World Cup
Industry: Health & Fitness
Souletics, LLC founder and former pro football player Damon J. Smith invited to present his thoughts on race and athletics at international Sport & Society conference
San Francisco, CA (PRUnderground) May 28th, 2014
This past year, the world of athletics has endured a series of racially charged incidents. From the harassment of Miami Dolphins Jonathan Martin by teammate Richie Incognito, to Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman being labeled a “thug” for his emotional post game interview, to L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s “banned for life” punishment for racist statements against black athletes, former pro football player turned health and social advocate Damon J. Smith has had a lot to talk about.
According to Smith, the racial slurs, physical threats, social pressure, locker room politics, assault and intimidation tactics Incognito was found guilty of using against his teammate and assistant trainer are commonplace in football locker rooms across the country. Smith stated, “Incognito’s behavior may be shocking to some, but this is nothing new. As a young black athlete attending a traditionally white university, I consistently witnessed older and much larger defensive linemen who looked and behaved just like Incognito, and it was consistently tolerated – in many ways even embraced.”
Smith says as he progressed in the sport it became clear that football wasn’t the cross cultural melting pot some may like to portray, but more of a hyper aggressive culture clash where everyone’s expected to just suck it up, even if that means getting the short end of the stick.
“Incognito’s alleged behavior included racist name calling, physical threats, and humiliating pranks – actions that would never be tolerated in any other U.S. workplace,” Smith continued. “However, much of the American football industry and the public itself seemed to question Martin’s ‘mental toughness’ while dismissing Incognito’s behavior as harmless locker room antics.”
Meanwhile, international knowledge community “Sport & Society” was gearing up for their fifth annual conference, this year to be held in Rio de Janeiro following the 2014 World Cup. Smith’s statements about the impact of sports on society, racism and in American football resonated with their presentation stream on sporting cultures, and they invited him to present his thoughts to their international community this summer.
As stated on their website, their “knowledge community is brought together by a common concern for scientific policy and strategic perspective in sport and society.” They hold conferences every year in various locations across the globe, where conference delegates – leaders in their fields as well as emerging artists and scholars – travel from all corners of the globe and represent a broad range of disciplines and perspectives. They also publish The International Journal of Sport and Society and a book series, “Sport and Society,” which features in depth coverage of cutting edge issues affecting athletes and society world wide.
Smith, whose company “Souletics” centers around health, wellness and social issues, will travel to Brazil for the final round of the World Cup to be held on Sunday, July 13, and will speak at the conference the following week. For more information on the conference, visit http://sportandsociety.com/the-conference/program-and-events/list-of-accepted-proposals
To read more about Souletics, visit http://www.SouleticsResourceCenter.com
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