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Racial Politics and the Presidency: Analyzing White House Visits by Professional Sports Teams


Social Science Quarterly

Published online on


["Social Science Quarterly, EarlyView. ", "\n\nObjectives\nThis article investigates the impact of racial politics on White House visits by professional sports teams. Given increasing political polarization and varying racial compositions of major sports leagues, we hypothesize increased visits and objections over time while the prevalence of nonwhite players in a league detrimentally affects visits with Republican presidents and objections to visiting with them.\n\n\nMethods\nUtilizing an original data set, we employ binary logistic regression to examine White House visits and objections by champions of six major professional sports leagues between 1993 and 2019.\n\n\nResults\nWe find (1) increased visits and objections over time; (2) a negative relationship between a league's nonwhite composition and the likelihood of a White House visit; and (3) a positive relationship between a league's nonwhite composition and objections to visits with Republican presidents.\n\n\nConclusions\nThis research provides a more nuanced understanding of how racial politics influences the relationship between the American presidency, society, and culture.\n\n"]