Sports & Citizenship Primaries

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PRIMARY SOURCES ON RACE, CLASS, CITIZENSHIP AND SPORTS IN AMERICA
Document 1
There can be no doubt that there is a very earnest desire on the part of the American people to
restrict further and much more extensively than has yet been done foreign immigration to the
United States. . . . The injury of unrestricted immigration to American wages and American
standards of living is sufficiently plain and is bad enough, but the danger which this immigration
threatens to the quality of our citizenship is far worse. . . . The mental and moral qualities
which make what we call our race . . . are exposed to but a single danger, and that is by
changing the quality of our race and citizenship through the wholesale infusion of races whose
traditions and inheritances, whose thoughts and whose beliefs are wholly alien to ours and with
whom we have never assimilated or even been associated in the past.
Henry Cabot Lodge speech to Congress, March 16, 1896.
Document 2
"The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its
continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling
nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English- Americans,
French-Americans, Scandinavian- Americans, or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate
nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality than with
the other citizens of the American Republic." -- Theodore Roosevelt
Document 3
"Any man who carries a hyphen around with him carries a dagger that he is ready to plunge into
the vitals of the republic.”-- Woodrow Wilson
Document 4
"Society has no business to permit degenerates to reproduce their kind.... Any group of farmers
who permitted their best stock not to breed, and let all the increase come from the worst stock,
would be treated as fit inmates for an asylum.... Some day we will realize that the prime duty,
the inescapable duty of the good citizens of the right type is to leave his or her blood behind
him in the world; and that we have no business to permit the perpetuation of citizens of the
wrong type.”
Document 5
“In any republic, courage is a prime necessity for the average citizen if he is to be a good citizen;
and he needs physical courage, the courage that endures, the courage that will fight valiantly
alike against the foe of the soul and the foes of the body. Athletics are good, especially in their
rougher form, because they tend to develop such courage.” – Theodore Roosevelt speaking at
the Harvard Union, February 23, 1907.
Document 6
“Joe, ballplayers are bums. If you want to play ball, go ahead. But you’ll have to move out of the
house. You can't live here anymore.” -- Father of Joseph Gilbert, an immigrant Jew in 1910 who
was being recruited by professional baseball teams in 1910.
Document 7
“Let your boys play baseball and play it well, as long as it does not interfere with their
education or get them into bad company . . . . Bring them up to be educated, ethical, and
decent, but also to be physically strong so they should not feel inferior. Let us not so raise the
children that they should grow up foreigners in their own birthplace.” -- Abraham Cahan, Daily
Forward, August 6, 1903.
Document 8
“We the undersigned do hereby warn you not to put up Walker the negro catcher the evenings
that you play in Richmond, as we could mention the names of 75 determined men who have
sworn to mob Walker if he comes on the grounds in a [baseball] suit. We hope you will listen to
our words of warning, so there will be no trouble; but if you do not there certainly will be. We
only write this to prevent much bloodshed, as you alone can prevent.”
Letter from fans in Richmond, Virginia to the manager of the Toldeo Blue Stockings, 1884, in
Robert Peterson, Only the Ball Was White, 1970.
Document 9
Document 10
Document 11
Document 12
Title IX: No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be
excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be
subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity
receiving federal financial assistance.
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