Playing the White Man’s Game tells the extraordinary tales of Native American athletes who, despite tremendous obstacles, came to dominate the NFL, CFL, PGA, Olympic Games, NHL and professional wrestling. Jim Thorpe, named ABC’s “Athlete of the Century,” began his track and field career when he surpassed his college varsity high jump team in street shoes and climaxed with gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon at the 1912 Olympic Games, before moving on to dominate NCAA and NFL football, major league baseball and 22 sports in all, including a national championship in ballroom dancing. Billy Mills improved his best time by an unheard of 50 seconds to win the 10,000-metre Olympic race in “the greatest upset in Olympic history.” The fascinating stories of these colourful characters show why these Native American athletes were heroes not only for their exploits on the field of play, but for their efforts to preserve and enhance native history, culture and lifestyle with pride and dignity away from the competition.
About the Author
Don Marks was a Winnipeg-based writer, filmmaker, and sportscaster. Marks was once a street youth before being adopted by a First Nations family, and his work reflects a lifelong interest in Indigenous issues. His books are: Playing the White Man’s Game and They Call Me Chief, which was a Canadian best-seller. He also wrote and directed many documentaries, variety specials, music videos, and television episodes that highlighted Indigenous artists and athletes. Don Marks died in 2016.