Not a slam dunk

The myth that sports are racially redemptive makes for formulaic movies. Glory Road feels a lot like Remember the Titans. The films (both produced by Jerry Bruckheimer) show how a team’s drive to win a championship overcomes racial divisions and leads blacks and whites to bond like brothers.

Glory Road is about Texas Western University’s 1966 champion basketball team, which featured an all-black starting five. It’s hard not to be moved at seeing Texas Western’s five black starters line up opposite the University of Kentucky’s five white ones in the national title game. UK’s racist coach, Adolph Rupp (played by Jon Voight), who avowedly opposed recruitment of black players at that point in his career, is shown scowling like some sort of Confederate general. Texas Western’s victory was a symbolic victory for black athletes, and it spurred the integration of athletics in the South.

 

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