Final Update: Sports and Politics

My paper is now 100% finished with all edits and citations. I’m proud to say that my final product was a paper much deeper in scope and longer in length than I anticipated. I expected to write a 15-20 page comparison between modern examples of politics in sports and past ones. Rather, my paper changed into a case study of a singular sports history story and how it applies to the present and future. This caused me to get more in depth into the story than I realized would be necessary, and the paper ran to about 40 pages instead.

My paper turned out as it did because I had to explain why Alabama integrating its football team was important. This required a long inquiry that explained and interpreted events from the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. Parts of the explanation even required discussion of events as far back as the civil war and analysis of economic and political changes occurring in the south from the 1860s until the post-war era.

I believed that I would detail how college football contributed to desegregation at the University of Alabama. Rather, I found a more interesting discussion  of how it affected integration (which is social and psychological), rather than actual lawmaking. I found that this discussion was more relevant, accurate, and important. Moreover, the paper also became a discussion of the merits and detriments of controversial legend Bear Bryant as well.

In the end, I found that I had come to a satisfactory conclusion to my questions. I found that rather than ending segregation, college football helped propel integration over the course of a decade. To me, this said something important about my overarching assertion that politics do, should, and will have a role in sports in the future. In addition, the story I tell touches on sports, history, and politics in way that may be interesting to a number of different people.