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Dear White Women

Mar 11, 2020

Welcome to the 50th episode of the Dear White Women Podcast!! Thank you for all your comments, feedback, and support. Please continue sharing this podcast with your friends and family members, especially those with whom you need to have these uncomfortable conversations.

On today’s episode, Sara and Misasha continue the income inequality arc with the topic of kid’s sports. 

Have you ever paused to consider the racial makeup of the athletes that we watch on TV? And in what sports? Furthermore, have you ever taken a look at why it is the way it is, other than simple demographics? 

If your answer is “no” to any of the above, you’ll want to join Sara and Misasha for their investigative insight into this area of concern. 

Show Highlights:

  • Youth sports in the United States has long been an important part of growing up.
  • Youth sports is a nearly 17-billion dollar industry, which makes it larger than the business of professional baseball and the same size industry as the NFL.
  • The share of children ages 6-12 who play a team sport on a regular basis has declined from 41.5% in 2011 to 37% in 2017.
  • In 2008, participation was lower across categories, including baseball, basketball, flag football, and soccer. 
  • Baseball itself is down around 20%.
  • According to CBS News, “the rising costs of playing sports, coupled with rising economic inequality, are increasingly leading poor and even middle-class families to hang up their cleats”.
  • Pay-to-play sports is making organized athletics too expensive for many households.
  • Misasha provides a breakdown of household incomes and the percentage of children participating in sports.
  • The typical American family spends about $700 per year on their child’s sports activities. However, some parents pay out as much as $35,000 annually to pay for lessons, camps, school sports fees, equipment, and travel.
  • Due to budget cuts, public schools are increasingly charging for sports.
  • Sara addresses the pressures that college-minded parents feel to help get their kids athletic scholarships at elite colleges.
  • Only 1 in 10 young people who play sports ever get a sports scholarship.
  • Today, Division I and Division II colleges distribute 3 billion dollars a year in full and partial scholarships to student-athletes.
  • The scholarship jackpots give some children from lower-income families the chance to attend schools they might not otherwise afford.
  • In addition to affordability issues, sometimes lack of participation has to do with lack of transportation or safety concerns.
  • Kids who get pushed out of sports by the age of 12 are unlikely to get back into sports at a later time.
  • Europe not only offers alternative models for balancing equality inefficiency and the overall economy, but it also offers alternative models for youth sports.
  • Norwegian youth leagues value participation over competition and scores are not allowed to be posted.
  • So, why aren’t black kids playing baseball? Listen in for the reason why many young athletes are not picking up the sport.
  • Sara shares trends in the sports industry. 
  • Misasha discusses race and the downsides of playing football, and the disparity between who’s playing the violent sport and who’s making the most money off of it.

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Suggested Episode:

49: Why Are We Talking About Income Inequality When The Economy Is Strong?

Wealth Inequality in America - YouTube Video