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Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Using Social Psychology to Evaluate Race and Law in Sports

I have posted on SSRN a draft of a forthcoming chapter I've written for "Reversing Field: Examining Commercialization, Labor, Gender and Race in 21st Century Sports Law" (andré douglas pond cummings and Anne Marie Lofaso eds, forthcoming).

Here is the abstract:
This chapter will examine the connection between social psychology and the larger topic of race, sports, and the law. It will begin by discussing human attitudes and cognitive biases and then turn to what could be the most clearly detectable, or at least the most controversial, connection between social psychology, race, and sports law: the alleged nexus between implicit attitudes and patterns of referees and umpires when officiating games. In particular, the chapter will discuss recent research on the supposed propensity of National Basketball Association referees to call fouls on African-American players with greater frequency than objective data would predict. The chapter will also consider new research on Major League Baseball umpires and a possible relationship between pitchers’ race and umpires’ called balls and strikes. It will then raise the possibility that the Wonderlic Personal Test for the National Football League Draft and similar tests may corroborate findings on stereotype threat. The chapter will conclude by noting the importance of law and collective-bargaining in rectifying related concerns.
To download the chapter, click here.


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