The University of Tennessee is under scrutiny due to a recent social media post that leaked into a SEC basketball game in the form of chants and protesting. The picture that sparked this controversy was posted on social media and it included four white men, two with their faces coloured black. A caption ran across the photo that read: “We for racial equality boys. Bout to get this free college now that I’m black lets goooo #blacklivesmatter”.
Sport, in this incident, functioned as the site of rebellion as 40-50 fans dressed in black and sat together behind one of the nets. This group of people assembled and remained seated for the anthem, a method of protesting racial injustice. During half-time this group also offered several chants which included “hey, hey, ho, ho, racism has to go” and “What do we want? Expulsion! When do we want it? Now!”.
College basketball was an interesting choice for an arena to protest within, however, the assembled group made a smart choice as basketball has been a sport mostly dominated by black male athletes. They used the dominant ideology of sport to bring the attention of others onto large issues that exist outside of the sport but that exist as relevant to the sport.
FEATURED IMAGE: Students seated in the student section at a Tennessee basketball game where they protected against the racist image posted by a student at UT.