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Yellow Bodies, Black Sweat

Yellow Bodies, Black Sweat

Yao Ming, Ichiro Suzuki, and Global Sport

(p.55) 2. Yellow Bodies, Black Sweat
East Meets Black
Chong Chon-Smith
University Press of Mississippi

This chapter focuses on the relationship between Asian and Black athletes, global multiculturalism, and capitalism. Ichiro Suzuki and Yao Ming represent in clear ways the figuration of the Asian male body as both cultural phenomena and transnational commodity. This chapter describes the marked turn from the Asian male body as an unattractive representative for marketing commodity exchanges to an imported spectacle reproducing multicultural capitalism in global sport. However, it does not simply offer a conventional study of the political economy involved in the global expansion of popular sports. Rather, it attempts to illustrate how Asian men in U.S. sports presuppose and indeed attempt to produce Asian masculinity through inverting the bodily emasculation of Asian American men. This chapter details the ways in which popular sports have been racialized as a “Black” space of colonial fantasy and fears and how Asian male athletes break down the fixity of biological discourses that hinge upon visual common sense.

Keywords:   Yao Ming, Ichiro Suzuki, Global sport and multiculturalism, Biology and race, Visual common sense

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