When Race, Religion, and Sport Collide tells the story of Brandon Davies’ dismissal from Brigham Young University’s NCAA playoff basketball team to illustrate the thorny intersection of religion, race, and sport at BYU and beyond. Author Darron T. Smith analyzes the athletes dismissed through BYU’s honor code violations and suggests that they are disproportionately African American, which has troubling implications. He ties these dismissals to the complicated history of negative views towards African Americans in the LDS faith. These honor code dismissals elucidate the challenges facing black athletes at predominantly white institutions. Weaving together the history of the black athlete in America and the experience of blackness in Mormon theology, When Race, Religion, and Sport Collide offers a timely and powerful analysis of the challenges facing African American athletes in the NCAA today.

Dr. Darron T. Smith is a frequent political and cultural commentator on various issues of U.S. based issues of race, racism, and discrimination in forums ranging from Religion Dispatches, The New York Times and Chicago Tribune op-ed to ESPN’s Outside the Lines. His research spans a wide myriad of topics on race including healthcare disparities, Religious studies, Race & Sports, and Race, Adoption and the Black Family. His current research focuses on health care workforce discrimination involving African American physicians and physician assistants. He is the co-author of White Parents, Black Children: Experiencing Transracial Adoption and co-editor of Black and Mormon. His current book, When Race & Religion Collide: Black Athletics at BYU and Beyond was released in 2015.

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  1. John, I have lost all respect for you for calling Donald Trump a racists. Spreading the lies and propaganda of the liberal left is pathetic. Your blatant ignorance of Trump’s positive relationships with blacks is appalling. Smith saying that all whites are racist is proof that he is the one who is racist and pure hate speech. Why not talk about black on black crime, the massive fatherless black families, the high black crime problems in urban communities,. Blaming whites for all the problems of blacks is outrageous. The blame game is getting real old.

  2. I️ have a cousin who plays @ BYU. My cousin was hoodwinked. They are used for press & recruiting to show diversity, but don’t get as much playtime as the Mormon counterparts. My cousin’s stats are much better & is by far a more dynamic player… yet they consistently are overlooked. When in the game… instant impact. then they get subbed out anytime they start to outperform the Mormon kids. Grades, behavior….. model college athlete. Just not mormon & not white. Smh. There are so many stories like this from black, non LDS/mormon athletes who attend BYU. I’m not saying it’s racism, I️ think it’s more about religion. But I️ guess that’s what you get when you go to BYU

  3. We have had it with religions which require the virginity and so many additional virtures from women including but not ending with, sacrifise, submissive, obedience and the rest while men are not required to be virgin at marriage, neither to be faithful and sacrifice for the well fare of their family and certainly are neither virgin, nor faithful and far less dedicated and sacrificing. By now, most women have understood how religions, all led by men, have cheated women in more than one way including basic rights and gender equal rights and we have also understood that for our own safety and happyness we are much better awayf from both men and religions … certainly for even more so with some religions but in all cases equally safer and happier away from most men.

  4. This is unfortunate… way to broaden the definition of racism. Everyone has prejudice but not everyone is racist.According to this video all white people are racist just because they are white even if they are good people which is ridiculous and white privilege is a joke and the whole idea of white privilege is racist in itself. darron smith you are what you are trying to fight against. There are disparities! For example in education public, education needs to improve there is no doubt but there is affirmative action. My brother has a 4.3 GPA and tons of extracurriculars and didnt get into Stanford but his Hispanic friend who has a 3.9 did.. where is my brothers white privilege? And yesthere is a problem with police brutality it needs to be fixed! But in 2015 about 1145 were killed by police out of those 582 where white and 304 black, this year about 335 this far and out of those 157 where white
    and 72 black where is the out cry for white people. As a hispanic adopted by a white family i have been able to see both sides of of culture can influence a persons perspective. To sum up when you claim racism blindly it significantly takes away from real acts of racism that need to be address and corrected.
    As far as the church they did have more obvious racist policies like black man not being able to have the priesthood or black families not being able to be sealed after racist Brigham Young came along. But race shows inconstancy in the church. They now allow blacks to be part of temple ordinances however I have heard people say,and I will paraphrase, when we are exalted our skin color will change and glow to a lighter hue. Which to me sounded like when you go to the celestial kingdom you will be white. I could be wrong I didnt research further but it seemed odd maybe someone will clarify for me!

  5. Just because I was born white does not mean just because of circumstance I am a racist. If a black gang member in Chicago shoots another black person should we just assume the the killer was born a killer because of circumstance? How about we all stop with the ridiculous circumstantial branding on all sides. I have known a lot of black people in my life and I have noticed something. Black people I knew who did not focus all their time and energy on being victimized by whites were extremely successful and the black people who focused all their energy on being victims were not as successful. That is my experience and observation and yes I know there are truly some horrible racism and race issues out there. My black coworker from Georgia even mentioned how sick he was of black people complaining and not bringing about change. He has felt almost nothing but love in Utah but yes he has mentioned he has gotten a few weird looks here. But it was nothing like he experienced in Georgia. His words not mine. Not all white people are racist and the proof is in the election of Barack Obama. How did that happen when we are all born racist? I can't begin to understand what black people have been through for generations and all they went through during slavery. However, I have always been taught to respect all life by amazing and non racist parents and I have had to work my ass off for every single thing I have. I have never been given a job because I am white, I have never been given anything because someone looked at me and said I like how white he is. I have lost opportunities with work for example to people of every race or ethnicity and I don't care! If they were more qualified than me so be it! I am still waiting for this white privilege to kick in so I can cash in on this easy life I am told I have!

    I was just down at BYU doing some contract work and their were people of every ethnicity running around on campus. It was shocking in the most awesome way! (I am a member of the church but not active for full disclosure. And I myself would never go to BYU.) Lot's of black kids getting an education. Yes, I am sure a lot of these black students were raised by white mormon families but that is interesting in it's own right. No matter how much money I give to a poor black neighborhood, if the people in that neighborhood don't make changes for themselves, then the same problems will keep manifesting over and over. I just don't think people like Darron Smith will be happy until every single white person gives up their homes, jobs, income, and life savings to a black person or black family.

    Darron Smith will now be profiting off book sales as he should be but will he be giving up the money he earns to help the poor black neighborhoods in our country? You look at Al Sharpton and he no more wants the race issues to go away because he doesn't make any money that way. I am just so tired of being told how evil I am when I have done nothing wrong. I am terribly afraid for our country and especially for Black Americans. I want Black America to succeed! I want everyone to have every amazing opportunity available no matter who they are or where they come from. Darron ripped on Republicans but doesn't mention that most of the large cities with horribly run systems are run by liberals. Funny how that works!

    I will end with this. Instead of helping us all come together, I believe that there are evil forces on all sides pushing us towards the coming race wars. All I can hope for is that we will all wake up no matter our race and come together to stop these forces who profit from destruction and chaos. I am not racist and I do not put the typical stereotypes on Black Americans either. I was raised to love and respect everyone. Maybe if we can all take the energy we put into blame and redirect it to love and understanding we can fix the problems. I believe in humanity and I believe we can all truly become the human family I know we are.

  6. John your whole Mission in life now is to Find as many Bad Stories of the Church and Publish them.For every one you Find
    Their are 10 good stories. You do no Good for The One True God, Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.