An Exploratory Study of Professional Black Male Athletes’ Individual Social Responsibility (ISR)


Given their reverence and idol-like status, present-day professional Black male athletes in the American context face extensive pressure to act in a socially responsible manner. To date, however, researchers have yet to garner insights of the individual social responsibility (ISR) of professional athletes. This basic interpretive qualitative study elicited perceptions of the ISR of professional Black male athletes. The participants, athletes, and employees of one National Basketball Association (NBA) organization typified this responsibility as the following: (a) a social responsibility to self, (b) being a role model, (c) responsibility to the Black community, and (d) engaging in genuine activity. The findings are discussed in relation to their practical implications and future research directions are discussed.