Fade To Black: A Social Constructivism Theory Exploring Black College Athletes Transition

Henry Benton, Tennessee State University


The majority of Division I sports are composed of Black male players. These athletes can have the media spotlight and a lifestyle comparable to a celebrity, but what happens when their time with college athletics is done, the fans go way and the bright lights fade? The purpose of this narrative study was to understand the experiences of retired Black male college athlete’s transition out of college sports, using Social Constructivism (SC) as the theoretical framework to explore how they experience the transition and make meaning of the experience. Nine Black male retired Division I College Athletes were interviewed about their transition experiences out college athletics. Results show how race, identity and gender informed their transition experiences. Participants struggled with mental health issues, identity exploration, and navigating the world as Black men outside of college athletics. These findings suggest the importance of incorporating outreach, resources and representation to assist Black male athletes in their transition.

Subject Area

Counseling Psychology|Higher education|Black studies|Sports Management

Recommended Citation

Henry Benton, "Fade To Black: A Social Constructivism Theory Exploring Black College Athletes Transition" (2023). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI30529210.