Title: “Let The Kids Play...By Our Rules:” Tim Anderson, “Cool Pose,” and The Vilification of Black Masculinity in Major League Baseball

Regan, Barry
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Abstract: On April 19, 2019 Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson was suspended for one game for engaging in an emphatic “bat flip” celebration that turned into a heated argument with Kansas City Royals’ pitcher Brad Keller. In announcing Anderson’s suspension, Major League Baseball (MLB) argued that Anderson (who is Black-American) called Keller (who is White-American) the “N-word” during the argument. Reactions to MLB’s decision ranged from moderate support to intense anger. In modern day professional sports, “black defiance” is routinely criticized and policed by both fans and the league’s commissioner (Cunningham, 2019). This presentation will situate the suspension of Tim Anderson within the context of scholarly research on the disproportionate punishment of Black athletes from White league commissioners (Cramer, 2019). The presenter will argue that MLB must change its perceptions of Black Masculinity to illustrate a commitment to recent efforts to encourage greater participation in baseball from Black-Americans.
Learning outcomes "1. Understand the future direction of academic research that incorporates a diversity of ideological and cultural viewpoints. Part of the presentation's focus will be an explanation of how this research came about and where it fits within the broader development of research in the fields of communication and sociology. 2. Gain knowledge and understanding academic concepts related to diversity, inclusion, and racial equality. The question and answer sessions will be open to any questions regarding the role of concepts and theories relating to diversity, inclusion, and racial equality in evaluating present and future constructs of American popular culture. 3. Apply information from the presentation to learning how to present research in the field of intercultural communication and the sociology of sports. The presenter will provide a brief overview of the relevant literature review material to indicate to participants where future research can be conducted"