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People often think of racism as aggressive and overt. However, more commonly it is subtle—intricately embedded into societal beliefs, expectations and practices. Systemic racism leads to the disproportionate distribution of resources, power and opportunities.1 2 It is ubiquitous, and exists in sports and exercise medicine (SEM) as it does in other industries. As two black SEM professionals, from different countries on different continents, it is our daily lived experience. We have had to sidestep racial slurs from patients; spar with employers over intentionally low-balled salary offers that devalue our talents; and hurdle perceptual barriers in the workplace just to be acknowledged as equals, despite occupying leadership positions. The ultimate challenge of playing in a sports medicine game that ignites us, within a system that often devalues us, is to use our efforts and voices to level the playing field for future generations.
The purpose of this editorial is to highlight distinct ways in which institutional racism manifests within SEM, and provide …
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