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ISSN 1461-7218

Racist Stacking in Professional Soccer in Germany


n. 2




v. 57


p. 1-20



Racist stacking is a phenomenon in team sports in which Black players are underrepresented in tactical and leading positions, while they are overrepresented in decentralized and physical positions. In this article, we propose that racist stacking is a type of institutional racism characterized by racist ascriptions incorporated in the daily routines of sport institutions. We explored whether racist stacking happens in soccer in Germany based on these assumptions. The results of an examination of the 36 teams in the male divisions of the first and second Bundesliga in the 2020/2021 season are presented in this article. We discovered patterns in our data that support a theory of racist stacking. White players are more likely to play positions associated with leadership, oversight, responsibility, intelligence, and organization, whereas Black players are more likely to play positions associated with aggressiveness, speed, and instinct. We conclude that, contrary to popular belief, professional sports do not just rely on the competitiveness principle. Instead, some decisions appear to be made on the basis of racist attributions, whether purposefully or accidentally.


NOBIS, Tina; LAZARIDOU, Felicia. Racist Stacking in Professional Soccer in Germany. International Review for the Sociology of Sport. Thousand Oaks, v. 57, n. 2, p. 1-20, 2022.

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