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College of Education and Human Development - George Mason University

Dr. David K. Wiggins
PhD, University of Maryland
Professor Emeritus of Sport Studies
Co-Director (CEHD), The Center for the Study of Sport and Leisure in Society

Contact Information

Send email to Dr. Wiggins

Phone: (571) 572-5886
Fax: (703) 993-2025
Email: dwiggin1 (

George Mason University
Science and Technology Campus
Katherine G. Johnson Hall 201
10890 George Mason Circle
MS 4E5
Manassas, VA 20110


Dr. Wiggins is Professor Emeritus of Sport Studies. He has held numerous positions in professional organizations, including serving as Editor of the Journal of Sport History, History and Philosophy Section Editor of the Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, and Editor of Quest. He has been involved in a number of consultantships and media initiatives; given many invited lectureships; and made numerous scholarly presentations at state, regional, and national conferences. Included among his consultanships was serving as an advisor to the sports gallery at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture. Dr. Wiggins has published scholarly articles, book chapters, and several books on the history of sport, particularly as it relates to the involvement of African American participation in sport and physical activity. Among his publications are: Glory Bound: Black Athletes in a White America (1997); Sport and the Color Line: Black Athletes and Race Relations in Twentieth-Century America (2004, with Patrick B. Miller); The Unlevel Playing Field: A Documentary History of the African American Experience in Sport (2003, with Patrick B. Miller); Out of the Shadows: A Biographical History of African American Athletes (2006);  Rivals: Legendary Matchups that Made Sport History (2010, with R. Pierre Rodgers); DC Sports: The Nation's Capital at Play (2015, with Chris Elzey); Separate Games: African American Sport Behind the Walls of Segregation (2016, with Ryan A. Swanson); LA Sports: Play, Games, and Community in the City of Angels (2018, with Wayne Wilson); and More than a Game: A History of the African American Experience in Sport (2018). His latest book, Black Mercuries: African American Athletes, Race, and the Modern Olympic Games (with Kevin B. Witherspoon and Mark Dyreson) is scheduled for publication in 2022. Dr. Wiggins is also a three-time recipient of the Research Writing Award for outstanding scholarship from Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, a Fellow of the Research Consortium of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, Active Fellow in the National Academy of Kinesiology, Editor of the Sport, Culture, and Society Series of The University of Arkansas Press, Editor of Kinesiology Review, and Past-President  of the North American Society for Sport History.

Learn about the David K. Wiggins Endowed Fund for Scholarships, created to honor Dr. Wiggins, and make a contribution to this scholarship to support students pursuing a degree in the School of Sport, Recreation and Tourism Management.

Research Interests
  • History of African American participation in sport
  • Sport biography
  • Race and ethnic issues in contemporary sport
Recent Publications
African Americans in SportsEthnicity and Sport in North American History and CultureGlory BoundOut of the ShadowsRivalsSport and the Color LineSport in AmericaSport in America Vol. IIThe Unlevel Playing FieldBeyond C. L. R. James: Shifting Boundaries of Race and Ethnicity in SportsDC SportsSport and RevolutionariesPhilly SportsSeparate GamesRoutledge Handbook of Sport, Race, and EthnicityThe Routledge History of American SportLA Sports: Play, Games, and Community in the City of AngelsMore than a Game, A History of the African American Experience in Sport
Campus Affiliations
Other Courses Taught