Harry Jerome: Recognized and Celebrated for Both Social and Athletic Ambition

As Harry Jerome would have turned 79 years old this year on September 30th, this past week, Sportsnet Online published an article written by Sonny Sachdeva which outlines the legacy of deceased track star. The article highlights both Jerome’s accomplishments as a track & field athlete while also discussing his social influence in Canada.

Harry Jerome in 1959 (Source: JOHN ASKEW VANCOUVER SUN PHOTO. / PNG)

This article may be of particular importance to sport sociologists as the aspects of Jerome’s life presented by the author can easily be analyzed through sociological theories.

When not in competition, Harry Jerome dedicated much of his time to advocate for young Canadian athletes – especially people of colour. This activism by Jerome illustrates the ongoing process of power relations being reproduced in sport – as explained by critical theorists of sociology. Critical theory can be used to examine the reproduction of white-eurocentric sport conventions and how they affect the experiences of athletes who are a racial minority. If sports in Canada are designed to reflect the experiences of the white majority, there can be many barriers to participation for athletes of colour. The Sportsnet article featured in this post serves to outline the ways in which Harry Jerome strove to dismantle this phenomenon.

However, it seems that a functionalist perspective also applies to the life of Harry Jerome. As mentioned in the article, Jerome understood his introduction to sport as a place where people his age found “community”.

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Featured Image: Harry Jerome Statue in Stanley Park, Vancouver (Source: Robert Giroux/Getty Images)

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