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Race and Social Issues in The Movie Remember The Titans

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Racism plays an incredibly large role in sport, and has been around since other races began to participate in the sport. In this movie term paper I will discuss and break down how critical race theory, and different social issues compare the great movie “Remember The Titans”. “Remember The Titans” takes place in Alexandria a city in northern Virginia. The school’s name in the movie is named T.C Williams, and is around the time where schools were going through integration of blacks and whites approximately 1971. Bill Yoast was the successful white head coach of T.C Williams high school, but when the school was integrated the school board decided that Bill will no longer be the head coach and gave the position to Herman Boone an African American. At first, Bill was going to step down from coaching at T.C Williams because he refused to coach under someone let alone an African American coach. However when the white players found out that coach Bill Yoast wanted to leave T.C Williams they decided they would follow him and refused to play for coach Boone. Since coach Yoast did not want the boys to leave T.C Williams for his decision he decided that he will assist coach Boone in coaching.

The first team event was training camp at a nearby college where all players were forced to live together for a week and train. At first racial tensions were extremely high between players. There were many fights and arguments simply because of the differences in race. Through the camp and the season the players and coaches began to accept each other and they became quite successful in and out of football. As the players began to get along and start to form bonds with each other it started to rub off on the city. This is because as the players are seen winning and thriving throughout the season together the town had no choice but to support it and except a different color. The titans ended the season with a perfect record and went on to win the state championship and prove that race should not be a factor in sports or anything. Clearly the main sociological issue in this movie is racism in sports. In the movie there were many examples of how the white people showed they wouldn’t approve, and associate with black folks. Some examples of this is derogatory terms, and isolation from the blacks. For example early in the movie when coach Boone first was introduced to the coaches at T.C Williams they immediately tried to isolate themselves from coach boone. At first sight an assistant coach said “why aren’t you screaming, and hollering outside with your people”. This quote shows that the coach feels that his race is different from coach Boone’s, and that he doesn’t think whites and blacks should be one.

Another example of how the whites displayed racism is when the team captain Gerry Bertier insisted that he would not play with a bunch of “black animals”. This shows that at this point in time Gerry saw blacks as animals rather than humans. This is because Gerry thought that his race was superior to the African American race rather than equal. These types of views may not be expressed as often, but are still present in sports today. For example Houston Texans owner Bob Mcnair made the news by responding to the National Anthem protest in a poor manor. When Bob Mcnair was asked about the NFL players who protested racial injustices by kneeling for the National Anthem he responded with “We cannot have our inmates running the prison”. In my opinion this remark by Bob Mcnair was extremely racist, and unacceptable. This is because he got the point across that he could care less about what is happening with minorities around the world, and he sees his black players as prisoners or slaves. In America sports can be seen as a way out of poverty for minorities aside from the enjoyment of playing the sport. An example of a present day athlete who used sports to make it out of poverty is Allen Iverson who was a phenomenal professional basketball player out of Newport News, Virginia. Iverson grew up in the inner city, and perfected his basketball skills so he could make it to the pros to support his family. In the movie it did not necessarily go into the players’ backgrounds to see if the players were in the same situation as Iverson, and trying to use football to get a scholarship or even go pro. However it can be assumed that most of the African American players had dreams of leaving their poverty stricken towns to go to play for college or even Professional.

In the movie there is a scene where coach Boone invited coach yoast’s daughter to come to his house and spend time with his family and make friends with his daughter. Later on that night a man who was most likely white screamed “Hey coach coon” and threw a brick in coach Boone’s window. After this event coach boone quickly got the girls and his wife to safety while he grabbed a shotgun to protect them. The next morning when coach Yoast found out about the incident he responded with anger and told coach Boone “when your sins endanger my little girl it becomes my priority”. Coach Yoast has the term called colorblind racism. Colorblind racism is when people claim that they do not see or differentiate color, and they believe that everyone is the same. This is not a resolution to racism because what coach Yoast fails to realize is that the brick being thrown had nothing to do with coach Boone’s sins or anything he did wrong. The reason why the brick was thrown through coach Boone’s window is simply because he is black and is facing discrimination strictly because of his color. Coach Yoast had trouble seeing that and wasn’t used to people doing crude behavior towards him for no logical reasoning. So in the outcome this opened coach Yoast’s eyes and now he can see that blacks are not always seen as normal humans, and he got a little taste of what we go through on a regular basis.

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Race And Social Issues In The Movie Remember The Titans. (2021, May 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 24, 2022, from
“Race And Social Issues In The Movie Remember The Titans.” GradesFixer, 14 May 2021,
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